HERNDON, Va., – Many of the country’s best and brightest landscape and horticulture students gathered at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., March 7–10, 2013, to compete in the 37th annual PLANET Student Career Days (SCD) – The National Collegiate Landscape Competition.
Sixty-seven teams, including two FFA high-school teams (a total of 839 students) participated in 28 individual and team competitions. Tree climbing, hardscape installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, skid steer, 3D exterior landscape design, personnel management, and small engine repair were just a few of the events.
“The overall enthusiasm and competitive nature shown this year by the students was truly remarkable! With consumer spending confidence on the rise, and a lot of companies reporting positive growth, the opportunities for job placement for these students is unlimited,” said PLANET SCD Subcommittee Chair, Ed Furner. “An amazing campus, attendance, and overall positive nature of the people in attendance made me feel truly blessed to be part of such an amazing industry.”
Awards were given to the top placing students, called “Superstars,” as well as to winning teams. The individual winners were, in first place, Chase Ricks of Brigham Young University - Provo (Provo, Utah); in second place, Alex Nisbet of Alamance Community College (Graham, North Carolina); and in third place, Jeff Elshoff of Michigan State University (Lansing, Michigan).
Brigham Young University - Idaho took first place in the overall competitive event, followed by Brigham Young University - Provo in second place, and Michigan State University in third.
Aside from bragging rights, some students also received scholarships and award money at a special PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) reception, sponsored by STIHL Inc. This year, PLANET AEF gave $59,700 in scholarships and awards. Students also took advantage of the opportunity to meet and interview with 52 landscape industry companies for full-time positions and internships at the on-site Career Fair.
PLANET thanks event sponsors Sthl Inc., at the Platinum level; John Deere at the Gold level; Caterpillar Inc., Gravely - an Ariens Company Brand, and New Holland Construction at the Silver level; and Belgard Hardscapes, Brickman, Husqvarna, and Pavestone at the Bronze level.
For a complete list of winners, including the winners of each individual event, please visit the Student Career Days website. For more information about Student Career Days, visit www.StudentCareerDays.org.