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Illinois State agriculture students shine at National Collegiate Landscape Competition

Illinois State agriculture students at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition in Graham, North Carolina.

Illinois State agriculture and horticulture students continued their trend improving their scores and placement at the 42nd annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) over spring break, March 14–17 at Alamance Community College in Graham, North Carolina.

Illinois State’s 12 representatives competed in 30 events against 61 teams.

Events included plant identification, equipment operation, and various tests of the students’ landscaping skills. Seniors Wesley Garbutt and Jonathan Buettner made the podium and finished third in irrigation assembly. Sophomore Hailey Holder placed third in flower and foliage identification.

Overall, Illinois State placed 12th in irrigation design, 13th in maintenance cost estimating, and 25th in landscape plant installation. The team placed 28th overall at the competition.

Illinois State student works the ground at the NCLC in Graham, North Carolina.

Here are some other notable accomplishments:

  • Senior Megan Carter placed sixth in computer-aided landscape design.
  • Sophomore Jordan Krueger and senior Jonathan Buettner placed ninth in wood construction.
  • Senior Wesley Garbutt and sophomore Jordan Krueger placed ninth in truck and trailer operation.

“The events are fun and challenging, but you learn so much from them,” said Buettner, a four-year competitor. “Between the competitions and the classes, you learn techniques and tricks that cannot be taught in a traditional classroom.”

In addition to the competition, students had the opportunity to take classes in topics ranging from irrigation to equipment operation. The participants also networked at the Green Industry Career Fair, which featured over 100 companies from across the country.