There is more value to corn than just its kernel’s. That is the winning idea created by the OSU National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Marketing Team which include members Grace Dannemiller, Andrea Kackley, Zach Corcoran, Megan Phillaier, Laura Davis, Drew Van Winkle, Garrett Leeds, Jenna Phelps, and advisor Scott Holley. They just placed 6th out of 36 at the NAMA Student Competition in Dallas, Texas.
They submitted an Executive Summary, participated in three rounds of competition and presented their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of marketing and agribusiness professionals.
Their idea, The Cob Co. (TCC) would turn corncobs into cash by delivering a complete turnkey solution including equipment, harvest support, transportation, conditioning, and merchandising.
According to the team’s research, only .023% of acres of cobs are harvested annually from the near 12.9 million acres of viable corn—that’s $3.62 billion dollars left lying in the fields.1 Due to high equipment costs and low utilization, transportation, and false concerns about nutrient depletion, farmers have been unable to capture this value alone. Their research confirmed that considerable market demand continues to grow for sustainable products where corncobs can be used, from bedding to biofuels. And, it’s an added revenue stream for farmers facing continued economic pressures and net incomes that are half what they were in 2013.
“Every team participating in the marketing competition does an excellent job of developing a thorough marketing plan, a process that takes most teams the majority of the academic year to complete,” said Erin Nash, NAMA Careers Committee Chair. “Those teams that advanced to the finals truly did exceptional work on their projects. Each year I am amazed by the talent of these teams. They’re truly an awesome group that we hope will continue in Ag marketing as they begin their professional careers.”
The top six marketing teams this year were Finalists (in alpha order), The Ohio State University, University of Minnesota and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Third place, North Dakota State University; Second place was the University of Wisconsin in Madison; and First place, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.