Plant Identification and Judging Team brings home honors from regional competition

When the Mid-American Collegiate Horticultural Society comes to the Colorado State University campus in 2018, the CSU Horticulture Club will build on what they learned from the 2016 competition. This year, the club sent eight members to Northwest Missouri State University to take part in the regional conference and competition, where the team placed second overall.

“Students attending regional horticulture competitions benefit from learning about regional horticultural practices,” said Jim Klett, professor of horticulture and landscape architecture and Extension landscape horticulturalist. “They develop lasting friendships with students from other universities and bring back ideas that CSU horticulture students can also benefit from.”

Individual and team champions

The Plant Identification and Judging Team, part of the Horticulture Club, competed in four events: herbaceous plant identification; woody plant identification; fruit/vegetable and nursery stock judging; and, a general knowledge exam. Four members of the team took part in the team competition and four members competed individually. The team placed first overall in herbaceous plant identification and one team member, Jackson Burkholder, a junior studying horticulture and landscape architecture, placed first overall in the individual competition and first in herbaceous plant identification out of 44 students.

The competition takes place over a period of three hours on the first day of the event, and then students have the opportunity to tour the host campus, seeing many of the horticulture facilities and plant growth operations around the campus.

Collegiate Horticulture Society competition 2018

The team is looking forward to the fall 2018 event, which was last held on the CSU campus about 10 years ago. Sheila Prentice, a junior studying horticulture and landscape architecture will serve as the event chair in 2018.

“Hosting the event at CSU will allow us to showcase the new CSU Horticulture Center, the Trial Gardens, and other cutting-edge spaces that we have here on campus,” said Prentice. “We are really excited to bring this annual conference to campus again.”

The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is part of CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.