Horticultural Science student team places 8th in national competition

Media contact: Lee Ivy, Department of Horticultural Science, 919-515-2808

A student team from the Department of Horticultural Science placed eighth among 64 teams at PLANET Student Career Days, a national collegiate landscape competition held in March at Auburn University.

Several of the students also were successful in their individual competitions. Senior horticultural science majors Don Edwards and Sarah Smith took first place in the “Personnel Management” competition. Edwards also placed second in “Plant Problem Diagnosis.” Sam McGowen, also a senior horticultural science major, earned third place in the “Turf & Weed Identification” event.

Lauren Gragg and Jeremy Machacek prepare for the "Plant Installation" event.

Twelve of the team’s 25 students scored more than 80 points in their respective competitions. Smith and senior horticultural science major Lauren Gragg earned scholarships. And many of the students discussed internships and employment opportunities with national companies.

Student Career Days is an annual three-day competition and networking event for students enrolled in interior and exterior horticulture programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities from across the country. More than 800 green industry students demonstrate their skills in real-world, competitive events. Student Career Days also provides green industry companies with unparalleled opportunities to meet and recruit next-generation green industry leaders.

– S. Stanard

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