Colorado State Students Awarded Top Honors at National Horticulture Competition

Five Colorado State University students placed first in events at the 33rd annual PLANET Student Career Days – a national horticulture competition – at Cal Poly Pomona in California.

This year, 59 schools from across the country competed. CSU’s 17-student team – including members from the Landscape Design and Contracting, Landscape Business, Turf Management and Nursery and Landscape Management programs – took second overall. The team placed in the top 10 in 16 categories; placing twice in the top 10 in pest management.  

PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network, is an international association serving lawn care professionals, landscape management contractors, design/build/installation professionals and interior plantscapers.  

The competition includes students from colleges and universities from across the country enrolled in horticulture programs.  Students compete in 25 events, ranging from plant identification, to irrigation design, to pest management, and other business related practices such as management and cost estimating.  

"Our landscape design and contracting program is PLANET accredited, helping us stand out as one of the top programs in the country," explained Heidi Moss, one of the CSU student competitors. "Our second place finish continues to exemplify our students’ abilities and drive to succeed, as well as the professionalism they all possess."

Colorado State students who finished first their respective competitions include:

–     Catherine Braunlin, business management;

–     Mallory Elkins, interior landscape design;

–      Daniel Blackwelder and Travis Bottini, irrigation assembly;

–      Steve Schommer, pest management.

The events directly relate to skills students need for a career in the green industry. The competition also features a career fair where students have the opportunity to talk with current industry members.

PLANET provides its members with a good business foundation to help them evaluate, plan and better manage their companies. Member firms have direct access to marketing tools, industry specific business publications, updates on legislative issues and networking opportunities that can assist them in becoming more profitable.