Published on 04/17/14

UGA students win big at national horticulture and landscape design competition

By Merritt Melancon

A team of University of Georgia horticulture and environmental design students recently placed fourth nationally in the Professional LandCare Network Student Career Days competition in Fort Collins, Co.

The competition, which drew 853 students from 65 different colleges and universities, is a chance for horticulture and landscape design students to demonstrate their knowledge about the professional nursery and landscaping industries. The three day competition consists of many individual and team events, including tree climbing, hardscape installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, skid steer, personnel management, and small engine repair - just to name a few.

UGA’s team had it’s best showing to date by placing fourth overall, and a number of students placed high in the competition’s individual events.

Individual performances in the top 15 include: sixth place in Arboriculture, Alex Ferguson/Ashley Martin; eighth in Computer Aided Design, John Scuderi; second in Exterior Design, Kevin Kelly; second in Interior Design, Kevin Kelly; second in Irrigation Assembly, Kohler Brafford/ Tanner Bailey; second in Irrigation Troubleshooting, Kohler Bradford and Tanner Bailey; fourth in Plant Problem Diagnosis, Brian Harding; third in Small Engine Repair, Kohler Bradford; second in Truck & Trailer, Kohler Bradford and Ashley Martin; 11th in Wood Construction, Jared Dobbs and Chase Ducharme; 14th in Annual and Perennial ID, Russell Dye; eighth in Interior Plant ID, Brian Harding; 12th in Interior Plant ID, Kaylee South; 10th in Landscape Maintenance Operations, Ashley Martin and Chase Ducharme; 10th in Personnel Management, Rachel Wigington and Drew Payton; 13th in Turf & Weed ID, Brian Harding; and third in Woody Plant ID, Will Hembree.

UGA Horticulture faculty Tim Smalley, John Ruter, Paul Thomas, Matthew Chappell and horticulture Ph.D. candidate Mandy Bayer, all with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, coached this year’s team.

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension before joining Terry College.

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