Northwestern freshman begins collegiate career with national FFA award

November 3, 2017

Ethan Sacket, Aline Freshman


Ethan Sacket, Northwestern Oklahoma State University freshman from Aline, qualified this spring for the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention held in October in Indianapolis where his team won the National Marketing Plan CDE from FFA.

Sacket and high school classmates Maggie Martens and Addison Spicer presented their marketing plan focused on an expansion of the Freed Family Farms of Fairview. In the Marketing Plan CDE division of the FFA, the scoring is based on the team as a whole and not individual scores.

The three presented a hypothetical marketing plan that was focused on the Freed’s extra produce and what to do with it along with the already existing two, empty greenhouses that were available to be turned in to an addition to the Freed’s business as a new-age meal kit delivery service.

The delivery service, using FedEx delivery rates, is provided to customers within Oklahoma, and a one-day delivery radius, as well as to major cities such as Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Kansas City, Missouri. Each meal kit is an individual meal, complete with produce and meat, along with step-by-step instructions on how to cook the meal. To order a meal kit a minimum of three servings must be purchased priced at $9 each and can be purchased any time with an overnight delivery, excluding Monday deliveries.  

“It was a combination of my adviser and the others on our team,” Sacket said about who helped motivate the development of the initial meal kit delivery concept.

According to Gail Kiley Sanders, superintendent for Marketing Plan CDE in New Hampshire for the FFA, students will build their marketing skills by creating the marketing plans from start to finish. Students research factors such as market status, industry trends, buyer profile and behavior, they also create a S.W.O.T. analysis for their business and competitors consisting of business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Students also dive into the detailed work of creating a budget, mission statement, long-term and short-term goals with strategies for reaching the goals and what to do if a goal is not met, and how to evaluate their marketing plan in a strategic and beneficial manner to the company.

Freed Family Farms has been selling jams and soaps at the local Farmer’s Market but the plan, if implemented, could bring the small family farm into the 21st Century business world.

Sacket’s team competed against students from other states such as California, Texas and Nebraska at the national level, but for all teams, the criteria and overall marketing goal was the same.

“For the marketing plan was basically to promote this new addition to a company and showcase that we understand the steps of marketing a product – that was the main goal…As a team we were just happy to get to nationals,” Sacket said.

“It was truly an honor just to be able to compete at nationals and as we made it past preliminary competition and the semifinals we were continuously grateful; we put a lot of time and effort into it. So making it, each step, was a great honor and a great opportunity to represent Oklahoma. I’m really humbled for the experience.”

Sacket is undecided between pursuing a degree focused in business administration or mass communication, but the experience has kept him more open to marketing because of finding a passion for it.

“I learned a lot about marketing, the full steps of creating a product and implementing that product and seeing the target markets and all these different aspects about business, marketing and a product. So learning about marketing was the greatest part of the experience.”

What Sacket has learned through the process, he believes could play a factor into his degree choice at Northwestern.  

“As I was working with the team I really saw a passion for marketing, and I can see myself later going into the field of marketing,” he said.

When asked why he chose Northwestern, Sacket attributed his interest for the university to Northwestern’s family atmosphere and potentially life-changing circumstances.

“Northwestern was a smaller university but still had a wide variety of opportunities, the professors really care about the students, and I think it’s the right size for me,” Sacket said.

For more information on Northwestern go to or for specifically Northwestern’s business and marketing programs contact Dr. W. David Hawkins, assistant professor of business and chair to the Division of Business, at (580) 327-8440 or For more information on the mass communication program contact Tamara Brown, assistant professor of speech and interim chair of the Communications Department, at (580) 327-8429 or


Ali Gavitt, University Relations Specialist, 580-327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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