Mendota FFA Ag Sales Team advances to district competition

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MENDOTA - The Mendota FFA Ag Sales team took part in the Section 7 qualifying event in Agricultural Sales Career Development Event (CDE) on Oct. 20.

The Agricultural Sales Career Development Event (CDE) consists of activities closely related to the entire sales process. Participants are tested on their verbal, written and interactive communication skills. They must demonstrate product knowledge, including features and benefits of a product, potential customer objections to a product, and proper product use.

Participants are asked to exhibit skills in the sales process, such as identifying prospective customers, introducing a product to a customer, planning and conducting a sales call, and closing a sale. In addition, participants are evaluated on maintaining customers and handling customer complaints.

The Mendota FFA Ag Sales team, Elizabeth Schillinger (senior), Wayde Collins (senior), Avery Pierce (junior), Karly Reel (sophomore), and alternate Samuel Sondgeroth (junior), traveled to Serena High School for the event. Participants were given Merck Animal Health products to sell this year as a part of the State series. The students had to familiarize themselves with several products used to treat cattle and horses for worms and other parasites.

As a team, Mendota placed second with a score of 762 points. They will advance to District 2 competition with Somonauk Leland Sandwich FFA who won the contest with a score of 769 points.

All four Mendota FFA members placed in the top 10 individuals: Schillinger – 2nd place (169 points), Reel – 4th place (166 points), Pierce – 6th place (153 points); and Collins – 10th place (137 points).

District 2 is composed of all the high school and middle school agriculture programs in Northeastern Illinois (Sections 6-10). The District 2 Agricultural Sales CDE will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at the Joliet Junior College Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center by appointment. The top three teams in each of the five Districts throughout Illinois will advance to the state finals, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.

The Mendota FFA expressed its appreciation to Seneca FFA Advisor Jeff Maierhofer for coordinating the Section 7 event, Serena FFA Advisor Chad Mahler for providing the facilities and refreshments and all of the judges who evaluated the team preparation, the team questions and the individual sales calls for giving of their time and talents. Also deserving recognition are Mendota FFA Alumni & Supporters members Dawn Dieter, Megan Faber and Sarah Landers for their help in preparing the team for competition.