UNE Business School students Sarah Wall, Max Laurie and Rebecca Clapperton have won the Undergraduate division of the 2017 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) Student Case Competition in Miami. The team defeated Nanjing Agricultural University in the final. UNE Business School students, Casey Onus, Matt Winkel and Christina Stannard finished third in the same division. This is only the third time that UNE has competed in the internationally recognised competition, first participating in 2015 in Minneapolis-Saint Paul in the USA and last year in Aarhus, Denmark.
The Student Case Competition is part of the IFAMA World Conference that connects current and future business, academic, government leaders and other industry stakeholders in a forum of interactive presentations and discussions of critical issues facing the global food and agribusiness system. This year’s conference theme was “Becoming the Solution – Technology, Investment, and People: Business Solutions for Food Security”.
The Student Case Competition brings together agribusiness sector students from around the world and provides students and their universities a global stage to showcase the next generation of business leaders. The competition requires teams to work through a complex case study in four hours. Teams receive a real-world challenge, develop a creative, practical solution, and build a presentation that communicates their perspective, analyses and recommendations to a panel of judges.
Team advisor, Dr Stuart Mounter said that winning the competition is a tremendous achievement and enhances UNE’s reputation both domestically and internationally as a leading provider of agribusiness education. Moreover participating in the IFAMA conference and Student Case Competition provides students with a global perspective of agribusiness and gives them an insight into key issues that face the industry today and in the future. It also opens up career opportunities by creating connections between students, academics and agribusiness and other organisations.
Both teams committed to weekly 4-5 hour training sessions involving practice case studies, public speaking and communication skills for a ten-week period leading up to the event. Sarah Wall said that she was a little overwhelmed but also ecstatic and proud to be a representative of UNE. Winning the competition means that all the hard work and investment made by the advisors and team members has been rewarded. More importantly we have gained invaluable skills which will assist in future involvement in the industry.
Prior to the IFAMA event the students, accompanied by Dr Mounter and Team Manager Ms. Sally Strelitz, participated in an agribusiness study tour of Wyoming and Colorado, hosted by the University of Wyoming. Students had the opportunity to visit a number of businesses including a cattle ranch, the Great Range Bison Processing facility and Bright Agrotech, the designer and builder of the most installed vertical farming systems in the world. Students also visited Syngenta’s Research and Development facility in Raleigh, North Carolina before travelling on to Miami. The UNE Business School will host a group of University of Wyoming students in the week commencing 7 August 2017 as part of an Australian agribusiness study tour. The student tours are progressive steps in strengthening the levels of student and staff engagement between the two universities.
Next year’s IFAMA conference and competition is in Buenos Aires, Argentina with plans already underway to defend the title.
The teams would like to acknowledge the contribution of Lyn Gollan and the support of their sponsors Syngenta, Ceres Ag, Guyra Milling, Rabobank, Rex Airlines, UNE Business School and UNE School of Environmental and Rural Science.