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Horticulture and Forestry Club Ranks High in Competition

Six Horticulture and Forestry Club students represented NDSU at the Mid America Collegiate Horticulture Society conference and competition held at Iowa State University. They won seven individual awards and achieved a second place overall team score.
Horticulture and Forestry Club Ranks High in Competition

Left to right, front to back: Andrew Scheldorf, Meredith Swanson, Mitch Stephens, Torie Jones, Ryan Carda, Connor Hagemeyer, Harlene Hatterman-Valenti

October 20, 2015

Six Horticulture and Forestry Club students represented NDSU at the Mid America Collegiate Horticulture Society (MACHS) conference and competition held at Iowa State University October 9 and 10. They did very well, winning seven individual awards and placing second in the team competition.

Connor Hagemeyer, a freshman horticulture major from Clara City, MN, took first place in woody plant identification, placed second in herbaceous plant identification, and was first overall individual.

Meredith Swanson, a senior horticulture major from Upsala, MN, took first place in the general knowledge exam, tied for third in herbaceous plant identification, and was third overall individual.

Mitch Stephens, a senior horticulture major from Sioux Falls, SD, tied for third place in woody plant identification.

Swanson, Stephens, Torie Jones, a junior horticulture and public history double major from Fessenden, ND, and Andrew Scheldorf, a sophomore horticulture major from Chokio, MN, made up the second place overall team, missing first place by only two points.

“It’s the first time since I’ve been [at NDSU] that they’ve placed as a team,” said Horticulture and Forestry Club co-adviser Dr. Harlene Hatterman-Valenti. Dr. Todd West is the other club co-adviser.

Jones was elected the Communications Officer for the MACHS officer team during the organization’s business meeting.

Ryan Carda, a freshman agriculture and biosystems engineering major from East Bethel, MN, also competed for NDSU.

In addition to the competition, the conference agenda included a speaker and tours of the ISU campus, greenhouse, horticulture research farm, and display gardens.

“Reiman Gardens [ISU’s display gardens] is like our display gardens on steroids,” said Scheldorf. “It was awesome, had a great variety of woody and herbaceous plants, and displayed several different styles of gardens.”

Conference attendees also visited the Iowa State Arboretum, the Des Moines Botanical Gardens, and the USDA North Central Plant Introduction Station, where they observed how germplasm is collected and stored for distribution and how genetic diversity is preserved.

“I really enjoyed the Des Moines Botanical Gardens, especially because they are still in the process of building and reorganizing and were willing to let us in on their process,” shared Jones. “It was also an amazing, colorful oasis right next to downtown Des Moines.”

Hagemeyer said, “I really enjoyed being able to go to this conference as a freshman. It showed me many great opportunities and helped me learn many new things.  I am so glad I got involved in the Horticulture and Forestry Club right away in the beginning of the year and I am looking forward to the rest of the year and years to come.”

The MACHS organization is a branch of the Association of Collegiate Branches (ACB) within the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS). The MACHS is comprised of horticulture clubs from universities and two-year colleges in Midwest Region states including Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and  Wisconsin. Every fall, the MACHS conference is held at a different host school, bringing together some of the best and brightest horticultural programs in the nation.

Source: Andrew Scheldorf
Source: Harlene Hatterman-Valenti (701-231-8536, )
Author: Kamie Beeson (701-231-7123, )
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard (701-231-5384, )

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