Growing Concerns: RCTC students compete at national landscaping event

March 31, 2019

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., hosted the National Collegiate Landscape Competition March 20-23.

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) is an annual three-day competition and networking event for students enrolled in horticulture programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities from across the nation. Each year, a different host location is selected, which gives the participants a chance to see different parts of the country and increases the level of difficulty for some of the outdoor competitions. Students demonstrate their skills in real-world, competitive events coupled with student workshops.

Sixty-four collegiate teams and a total of 788 students participated in 29 individual and team competitions at CSU. Five RCTC horticulture students participated in seven events: annual & perennial identification, arboriculture, exterior landscape design, landscape plant installation, plant problem diagnosis, truck & trailer operation, and woody ornamental plant identification.

Brice Bias competed in one individual event and two team events. Karl Grebe competed in two individual events and two team events. Elizabeth Prigge, Izaak Thielke and Brittany Wilcox each competed in one individual event and one team event.

Bias and Grebe competed in the truck & trailer operation as a team. Grebe and Thielke competed in the Arboriculture team event. Bias, Prigge and Wilcox competed in the Landscape Plant Installation. These three individuals worked as a team, finishing the install project in 54 minutes with 66 minutes to spare. Landscape install teams have 120 minutes to finish the project.

The Brigham Young University–Provo team won again! It is difficult for a team of five to compete against a team of 40, but the RCTC team did well.

Brittany is looking forward to traveling to Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich., next year to compete. What’s the weather like in Michigan in March?

The National Association of Landscape Professionals awarded a total of 68 scholarships to horticulture students from across the nation. Congratulations to Karl Grebe for receiving the David J. Frank Landscape Contracting Career Builder Scholarship. The David J. Frank Landscape company is headquartered in Germantown, Wis.

In addition to the competition, there is a large career fair with employers from across the nation looking for employees. For more information about career opportunities in the horticulture industry, visit the website landscapeindustrycareers.org. The site includes testimonials and short videos on the various industry specialties.

I want to thank our team sponsors, Maier Tree and Lawn and Weller Brothers Landscape.

Maier Tree and Lawn is a professional urban forestry and lawncare company. Maier Tree and Lawn is a Davey Tree Company doing business in southeast Minnesota for several years now. Visit www.forestandtree.com to learn more about the professional tree and lawn services offered.

Weller Brothers landscape is new to Rochester. Brent and Cole Weller started their company in Sioux Falls, S.D. Brent recently moved to Rochester to open a new location. Visit wellerbrothers.com/locations/rochester-mn to learn more about the professional landscape services offered in Rochester.

Visit the RCTC Horticulture Facebook page, www.facebook.com/RCTCHort, to see photos from this year’s event.