Does anyone use the Ag Sales CDE in the classroom for Ag Business? How do you go about incorporating the CDE into the classroom? Ideas and resources welcome! Thanks in advance!
Or the Ag Marketing CDE?
I included the Ag Sales CDE last year at the conclusion of my marketing unit; however, this year I switched to a unit project of my own design this year because I felt the CDE format was too vague to get the results I was expecting from my students; I also felt that it would be more valuable if it was more closely aligned to my curriculum. I worked with a marketer in the area to create our existing curriculum (Agribusiness and Marketing - Waterford Agriscience ) and so I wanted a project that better aligned to those real-world specific concepts.
We go pretty far in depth when it comes to detail, so I think for most people the CDEs would make for a valuable unit project or assessment. In our particular case, however, I wanted a more detailed and realistic portrayal of what a marketer actually focuses on as part of their job.
Although the FFA Event format has changed several times since I've been teaching, the stalwart student action in the event has been the Sales Presentation. For this, I have used the National FFA DVD (Power of Demonstration...may or may not be still available) to provide them with an example of what an individual sales presentation should look like. From there, they build a presentation on a product of their choosing. The only stipulations I put on their product are that 1. It must be legal. 2. It must be school appropriate. and 3. I strongly suggest it be something that the "customer" can easily get their hands on and demonstrate (I'm not a fan of trying to sell things by showing a prospective customer a binder with pictures in it). I give them a day or two to prepare their presentation and project summary sheet, and then they present (I play the customer). I score them according to the CDE Rubric.
Of course, depending upon the breadth and depth you desire, there are a lot of things you could do in addition to this. However, I have always felt like the Sales Presentation was a good skill to teach. By and large, it is well reviewed by students. In full disclosure, I should let you know that I've taught this as part of a more comprehensive ag business management course. It was only one component of many different and varied topics we covered. It's kind of a survey of ag business topics and doesn't get incredibly in depth into accounting, economics, or other sales for that matter. If you have a more specific course title, I would definitely look to expand on marketing principles.
Hey Courtney -
I agree with Parker and his approach. I can also see a more consumer oriented approach for an Intro to Agriculture, Basic Agriscience class, or even as a component to a Nursery/Landscape class or Floral Design class. The idea would be for them to understand the basic sales concepts that are out there and how these concepts affect them in their daily lives. Just taking a day to cover commonly used sales phrases from everyday retail purchases makes a huge impact:
If you really get into this with your students and review a bunch of phrases from local restaurants, retail stores, and dealerships use with their sales staff and are familiar to your class, then your students will leave class that day and never view a purchase the same way again. Because, ultimately the stores are trying to subtly influence your behavior with these phrases and statements. This will also illustrate to them that sales doesn't have to come across as used car dealer shady, but more subtle, well timed, and purposeful. For a specific subject area you can get more content specific such as referring to plants or farm equipment depending on the subject, but you get the idea. Have fun with it. Most students are generally amazed that you can pull the covers back and "show them the wizard running all the levers" in sales.
Shameless plug: we also have an Ag Sales DVD that you can use in class. it's comprehensive and entertaining. Best of all it covers all the steps of the sales process with examples. You can check it out here Ag Sales DVD .
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