Floral students ended the semester with a bang; one week in southern California. Students made connections with top executives and owners of major companies in the florist industry. Students also toured famous gardens to learn the culture of the surrounding area. “I really understand why he went there” said Elizabeth Elisalde, a senior studying floral design. Elizabeth really loved seeing the trees and flowers along with all the industry stops. Among the many stops was B & H, Elizabeth said “they were so organized… and they let us get hands on with their flowers.” These students spent all winter semester learning advanced skills in floral design and event planning. They got to execute those skills in one of the biggest events in our department; the Annual Flower and Bridal show. As the semester came to a close they had the chance to meet the people in charge of producing the flowers they designed with. “We try to see things that affect what we do [as florists].” Said Ben Romney; the professor that facilitates the floral classes and trips. On the trip they try to see Las Vegas; specifically the Mirage and Bellagio hotels. We have had many interns in Las Vegas and it's a hot spot for designers in our industry. The trip is catered around seeing the L.A. Flower market; it’s such a diverse range of plant material and shows the students the potential they have as designers in our industry. Here are a few pictures from the trip:
For the last fifteen years our department has sent students to PLANET student Career days. This is a great opportunity for students not only to network with over 85 different companies in the landscape industry, but to show them what they can do as they graduate. There were 65 different schools from all over the nation totaling over 850 students. Students get a chance to show what they have learned in classes at almost 30 different events. Some of these events include Arboriculture techniques, business management, construction cost estimating, irrigation troubleshooting, and more. They even include identification events like interior plant, annual & perennial, and turf & turf pest. Most of these students have been practicing all year to show companies the skills they have honed. We had several students being handpicked by companies to come work for them. We have received 1st place multiply times; which tells the rest of the nation just how hard our faculty work to maintain such a great curriculum, and how hard our students work to not only learn the knowledge put before them but to apply it as well. This year we placed 2nd place out of 65 schools. We brought with us 17 students participating in 26 events. When you see them walking around congratulate them on a job well done. If you would like to review the scores click here.
AEF Scholarship winners – Dan Quakenbush, Trevor Stevens
2nd Place in 3D Exterior Landscape Design – Ali Strate 84.50
2nd Place in Computer Aided Landscape Design – Garret Slezak 87.00
3rd Place in Exterior Landscape Design – Leanne Thompson 87.00
1st Place in Irrigation Troubleshooting – Dan Quakenbush and Cameron Rutter 200.00
1st Place in Maintenance Cost Estimating – Trevor Stevens 100.00
3rd Place in Wood Construction – Trevor Stevens and Garret Slezak 176.00
3rd Place in Irrigation Design – Cameron Rutter 86.00
3rd Place in Leadership Skills – Garret Slezak 92.33
1st Place in Tractor Loader Backhoe Operation – Eric Anderson 99.00
Students & Faculty had a lot of fun celebrating their 2nd place win!
Picture Perfect Construction has been hard at work for the last 20 years in the greater Los Angeles, CA area. They offer design, maintenance, and construction services, focusing on high-end residential and commercial properties in area like Bel Air and Hollywood. Picture Perfect Construction strives to keep all parts of the project within their company to keep accountability of the whole project on them. They pride themselves on working with the customer through the entire project to make sure the customer receives exactly what they envisioned. Currently we have two alumni at Picture Perfect Construction, John Phelan, owner and operator, as well as Jonathan Jackson the maintenance manager. John and
Jonathan would be a great people to network with and talk to about an internship or even a career with Picture Perfect Construction. To see some of the many beautiful properties they have designed here is their website.
The Hort 455 just got back from showcasing our Horticulture program at the Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association Trade Show in Boise, ID. The week was filled with seminars and networking opportunities. Seminars were taught by some of the leaders in our industry from all over the United States. Some of the seminars consisted presentations on Arboriculture, Pesticides, Native Plants, and Organic Farming. After being fed a wealth of knowledge, students were able to network with companies from all over Idaho and the surrounding states. Companies like J. Frank Schmidt, Baileys Nursery, Iseli Nursery, Webb Landscape, and Perennial Favorites were excited to see our university name and were more than willing to talk with students and let us know all of the new and great things they were doing. Michael Cahill a, junior emphasizing in production, was impressed not only by the seminars but by all the owners and managers of companies attending. “I really liked the local agriculture and Arboriculture seminars, and getting to hang out with them socially.” he said.
The New Year started off with a bang for Sis. Infanger and two Floral Students, Haley Van Meeteren, and Lauren Smith. Each year Sis. Infanger takes a couple of Floral students with her to Pasadena, CA to help design floats the parade of all parades. This year was no different other than they were working for a new company called Fiesta Parade Floats. The first day teacher and students helped prep many of the different floats. The next day they were assigned two floats of their own to design, Aids Healthcare Foundation and Beverly Hills Petcare Association. The parade had 100 entries with around 30 being just floats. Both floats that Sis. Infanger, Van Meeteren, and Smith were working on won awards. The Beverly Hills Petcare Association won the Lathrop K. Leishman award for most beautiful non-commercial float. The Aids Healthcare Foundation for most effective use and display of roses in concept, design, and presentation. The company as a thank you gave Sis. Infanger, Haley, and Lauren all tickets to see the parade. Fiesta Parade Floats has asked us to come back next year which will be more than a treat because it is the 125th anniversary.
We have uploaded pictures for the expedition on Flickr. Anyone who wishes to use these pictures can download them from Flickr in multiple formats and sizes. Please click on the button provided to access these pictures.
Students involved in the trip were able to meet with seven companies in nursery production, landscaping, and the flower market. Many of the companies encouraged students to pursue internship and employment opportunities within their companies. Students were also able to experience Washington's beaches, botanical gardens, and unique cuisine. We invite all horticulture students to continue to seek these incredible opportunities to gain experience and find internship and job opportunities.
PLANET Student Career Days (SCD’s) is an annual capstone event for our BYU-Idaho Horticulture Department. 2012 marked the 36th year of the event and was hosted by Kansas State University. Our eighteen member team, practiced all semester long to place well in the competition. The competition is designed to bring students in close proximity to industry. Generous green industry companies both sponsor and judge the twenty-eight competitive events giving them an up close and personal look at future interns and employees. One student said that the event “felt like a family reunion of the green industry”. SCD’s allows students, industry and educational institutions to come together and aid in the common goal of raising professionalism in the green industry.
Our BYU-Idaho Horticulture Department is a “hands-on” department. When we talk about designing, building or maintaining landscapes in the classroom, we immediately apply the book learning in our five acre demonstration garden where we marry both the art and science of horticulture. This garden is also where we install, plant, build and climb in preparation for many of the competitive events.
PLANET SCD’s events are structured so that applied university programs, like ours, does well in the competitive events, but there is so much more to the event. Students continually talk about the scholarships they receive, the networking that takes place and the perspective they gain. Even though the economy is in a slump, each one of our students who sought employment or internships received opportunities from the best companies in the industry. PLANET SCD’s is truly a win-win for everyone involved. Thank you PLANET and Industry for making it all possible. Some representative student comments follow:
The decision to participate in PLANET Student Career Days was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my future career. It was a great opportunity to network with the cream of the crop in the green industry. On the trip I, was also able to develop great friendships that will last a lifetime. I would recommend PLANET Student Career Days to anyone who is serious about leading in their career path choice.
PLANET Student Career Days was a wonderful opportunity for me to network professionally, as well as to compete with students from schools across the nation.
PLANET Student Career Days was an excellent opportunity to meet with industry leaders and network with them. Throughout the career fair we learned how big and vibrant the green industry is and during the competitive events we expanded our skill level and stretched our abilities to achieve great things. For those interested in succeeding in the green industry I would highly recommend going to Student Career Days.
To kick off the winter 2012 semester, Brother Toll’s Nursery Managementclass took a trip to Boise, ID to attend the Idaho Nursery and Landscaping Association (INLA) expo. This event is a great way to network with and see the different businesses around the country that are making waves in the Horticulture industry. The trip lasted three days and was filled with classes and seminars that were taught by leading national businesses. The students were taught about current topics that are pertinent to the Horticulture industry and various other subjects. The students were also able to attend the INLA Horticulture Trade Show and saw booths run by dozens of companies that provide materials and services for the Horticulture industry. The students had the opportunity to run a booth for the BYUI Horticulture Department. There are several scholarships that are offered through the INLA. Out of the four scholarships awarded, our students came home with three of them! The scholarships were $750 each and were given to Micah Woods, Ashley Barkow, and Ismael Ruelas. Bryan Randall also won an award in a plant identification contest. His prize was a brand new Kindle. The trip was fun for all who went and we are now looking forward for next year’s trip! For information on the scholarships and how to apply, click here.
Very early in the morning on December 27th, 2011, several students and Sister Infanger left for Pasadena, California. They were headed to attend the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The trip lasted one week and the students were able to participate in the making of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Two of the participating students were new to the trip this year, Mallory Layton and Liesel Hirschi. They were able to go and work as floral designers on a few floats that the Phoenix Decorating company produced. Returning alumni were Hayley Sheppard, a senior at BYUI, and Kristin Wheelwright, a graduate of BYUI who flew all the way from New York to participate. Hayley and Kristin were actually hired by the Phoenix Decorating company to design and put together some of the floats. Because there were a few days before Sister Infanger and her students could start working on the floats, they spent some time sightseeing in sunny and warm Pasadena. They were able to go to the Griffith Observatory, they experienced the winter beach at Santa Monica Pier, and they even got to go shopping in the Old Downtown area! And then the work began. Out of the 44 floats that were in the Rose Parade, the Phoenix company produced 22 of them! Lucky Sister Infanger and crew got to work on these beautiful pieces of art! The theme of the parade this year was Just Imagine. It was held on Monday January 2, 2012 and the float decorators worked hard all Saturday night to be sure the floats were ready for final judging on Sunday. The four girls and Sister Infanger were separated onto teams that took care of several different floats. The work that they did largely included designing the floral part of the floats. Some of their other responsibilities included wiring, greening, and finally placing the flowers to bring to life the magnificent floats. The girls and Sister Infanger stayed in Pasadena for the final judging and then drove home that night. “I was actually home in time to watch it on TV! Which was weird!” stated Sister Infanger. The girls had worked hard and were rewarded with the satisfaction of several floats winning trophies in the tournament.
The floats, which the girls and Sister Infanger worked on, that received awards are as follows:
-Craftsman Trophy- Trader Joe’s “Hot Lava” (Sis. Infanger and Liesel)
-Directors’ Trophy- Bayer Advanced “Garden of Imagination” (Kristin)
-Judges’ Special Trophy- Donate Life “One More Day” (Sis. Infanger and Liesel)
-National Trophy- Western Asset Management “Imagine in America” (Mallory)
-Princesses’ Trophy- Rotary International “Inching Towards the End of Polio” (Hayley)
-Theme Trophy- US Bank “Idea Factory” (Kristin)
-Tournament Special Trophy- RFD-TV “Happy Trails” (Mallory)
(For a list of all the floats that received awards click here.)
This trip was deemed very successful and was “a good experience” all around. The students were able to network with recognized national leaders in the Floral Design and Event industry. Attending this event gives them the opportunity to design in one of the largest floral events in the nation. Not only is this Pasadena trip an annual opportunity, but students from the Horticulture Department also have the opportunity to apply for and attend the annual Grand Floral Parade in Portland, Oregon. The application to the Portland event for this year will be available in March.
On November the 7th the Hort. 322 class left, Phoenix bound. They spent the first day mostly in the car only stopping to eat and to play at Zion national park. Students loved hiking up the hill and beside the cliffs to get to that perfect spot to look down the canyon. Once back in the car they finished their first day travel to Marble Canyon, just inside the Arizona border and the starting point for the Grand Canyon. The group was off to an early start with breakfast in their bellies to the Grand Canyon. As they overlooked the Grand Canyon in sheer awe it erupted into a snowball fight. Students laughed along with professors as they joined in on the fun. After lunch on top of the rim they made their way to Phoenix, AZ. You would think they would have slept off their excitement, but not Horticulture students. The group was rearing to go bright and early in the morning. At Mountain States nursery they went to see their operations. Students learned about trademarks and patents on plants as well as irrigation solutions to problems. Some students’ favorite stop of the trip was AAA landscaping. After a tour of their office they heard some valuable advice from the owner as well as employees. With hard hats and orange vests they drove to Sky Harbor International Airport where AAA landscaping was working to put in an extensive landscape. After a long day they settled for some grub and sleep. In the morning they headed over to the University of Phoenix Stadium where they got to play on the field and hear about how the whole field retracts out of the stadium. Later they traveled over to, Berridge nursery to see the many different plants the Phoenix area can paint with in their landscapes. Next they went to see Mayesh Florsist Wholesale. Not only were the floral students ecstatic about the many bundles of flowers, but all the students were excited to see and handle them. Before heading to Las Vegas, NV they stopped to see the Desert Botanical gardens. The next day students and faculty met with Plantworks to see their botanical replications. This company has grown to service many hotels in Las Vegas with their products. It’s hard to tell the difference between the their artificial plants and others live plants. That evening students and faculty toured downtown Las Vegas to see the many creative designs inside and out of the buildings. Click here to see more pictures.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.