CAFNR team wins national student marketing competition

six teammates with their award

May 5, 2022

On the strength of its presentation centered on the GerriRig Grain Management System — a product the team modeled after the Grain Weevil, a grain bin safety and management robot — the University of Missouri National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) team recently took first place at the annual Agri-Marketing Conference this April in Overland Park, Kansas.

Competing against 20 teams from other institutions who are also renowned for their ag schools, the Mizzou squad improved on its fourth-place finish at last year’s event, which was held virtually.

“When we began this project, our primary goal was to be remembered,” said Kate Thompson, senior agribusiness management major and president of Mizzou NAMA. “When we found out we got first place, the contest chair told us that not only was this her favorite pitch in 25 years, but we had also set the bar for future events.”

Mizzou’s GerriRig Grain Management System idea was created to help grain farmers manage their grain bins, with a focus on farmer safety. Cleaning grain bins can be dangerous and even fatal when farmers become entrapped in the heat and dust. According to the team’s executive summary, the “first-of-its-kind robot skims across the surface of grain breaking up crusts, feeding grain into extraction augers and preventing hot spots.

Along with Thompson, Halley Blades (junior, food science and nutrition); Zak Bush (junior, agribusiness management); Drew Kientzy (senior, agribusiness management); Mattie Kottman (senior, agribusiness management); Sophia Liefer (junior, plant sciences); Regan Ragsdale (senior, agribusiness management); Lauryn Robnett (junior, agribusiness management); Anderson Rogers (junior, agribusiness management) and Sydney Stundebeck (sophomore, agribusiness management) prepared Mizzou’s presentation. Thompson, Blades, Bush, Kientzy and Ragsdale presented at the national competition.

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