Huntington University wins statewide ag competition

Source: Inside Indiana Business, 3/25/14

Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann today announced that Huntington University's team, 'Hoosier Grown' was selected as the winner for the "Promoting the Good Works of Indiana Agriculture" competition. Thirty teams from 17 Indiana colleges and universities submitted entries in the competition sponsored by Lt. Governor Ellspermann. The purpose of the competition was to create a marketing/public relations campaign promoting agriculture to young adult Hoosiers (ages 18 -35).

The Lt. Governor presented a $25,000 check to the winning team, with $10,000 awarded to Huntington University and the remaining $15,000 split among the students who prepared the proposal. The team from Huntington University was lead by faculty advisory Dr. Ann McPherren comprised of seven students included the following students:
  • Micah Christensen, a senior from Winamac, Indiana
  • TJ Clounie, a sophomore from Huntington, Indiana
  • Dane Drew, a junior from Columbia City, Indiana
  • Hannah Hochstetler, a senior from Goshen, Indiana
  • Stephanie Morin, a senior from Gorham, Maine (team leader)
  • Matt Nelson, a senior from Granger, Indiana
  • Ayla Yeiter, a sophomore from Roanoke, Indiana
Hoosier Grown proposed a new brand image, an integrated social-media marketing plan, and an increase in awareness of the agriculture economy and opportunities. 

"I congratulate all thirty teams for submitting very professional proposals. Selecting a winner was difficult for our panel of judges. The students and faculty from Huntington University can be proud of their winning effort against this competition. In the opinion of our judges, their proposal was a comprehensive and effective plan to reach our target audience with a creative message about agriculture," said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. 

"On behalf of Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) , I applaud Hoosier Grown for their excellent work in the 'Promoting the Good Works of Indiana Agriculture' competition," ISDA Director Ted McKinney said. "Our staff is excited to review their plan and consider its inclusion into existing strategies that promote the excellent work that our farmers, universities and agribusinesses are doing throughout our state.”

Huntington University's Hoosier Grown team includes seven talented students, ranging in expertise from animation, film production, graphic design, marketing, public relations and social media strategy. Some of team members grew up or currently work on farms and were members of 4-H or active in the FFA. One teammate serves as his county's membership chairman for the Indiana Farm Bureau. The diversity in talent and background of the Hoosier Grown team has resulted in a campaign that is relevant, fun and effective.

The two runners-up were from the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Indianapolis. Governor Mike Pence and First Lady Karen Pence hosted a reception for the three finalist teams at the Governor's Residence.

The $25,000 prize money was graciously provided by outside sponsors. They include Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Elanco, and Indiana Farm Bureau.