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Horticulture and Forestry Club Wins Top Honors at National Horticulture Competition

The NDSU Horticulture and Forestry Club gave a strong performance at the American Society for Horticultural Science national competition, taking first place in the overall team and the overall individual contests, as well as capturing first, second, and third place awards in other team and individual events.

For the second year in a row, the NDSU Horticulture and Forestry Club placed first overall in the team undergraduate horticulture commodity judging contests at the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) annual meeting held in Orlando, FL in July. Team members were Brittany Jangula, Nick Erwin and Nathan Jahnke. The team also placed first in the woody ornamentals event and third in the greenhouse foliage and floral crops event, the vegetable crops event, and the fruit and nut crops event.

Jahnke and Erwin also won several individual contest awards. Jahnke placed first overall in the individual horticulture commodity judging contests, first in the general knowledge exam, second in vegetable crop judging, and third in woody ornamental identification. Erwin placed second overall in the individual horticulture commodity judging contests, first in woody ornamental identification and second in the general knowledge exam.

The overall team and overall individual awards are determined by points awarded in each of the eight commodity events and a general knowledge exam.

Other club members also participated in and won awards in individual events. Kaylyn Hopfauf placed second in fruit and nut crop judging. Mitch Stephens placed third in greenhouse foliage and floral crop identification, and third in the general knowledge exam.

In addition, Jahnke won first place in the undergraduate poster competition. His poster presentation was titled “Effects of Nutrient Salt Formulations and 6-Benzylaminopurine on Micropropagation of Blue Moon Wisteria”.

Dr. Harlene Hatterman-Valenti and Dr. Todd West are the faculty advisors for the NDSU Horticulture and Forestry Club. “I am so proud of our students and for the time and effort they put into preparing for this competition,” said West.

Other NDSU horticulture faculty in attendance at the ASHS meeting were Dr. Chiwon Lee and Dr. Esther McGinnis. “All horticulture faculty are involved [in preparing the students for competition], because they are responsible for instructing our students within our curriculum,” explained West. “It is outstanding to see that our curriculum prepares our students at the national level.”

The ASHS competition is an opportunity to gain national recognition for the NDSU horticulture program and also an occasion for the students to network and be exposed to opportunities for advanced graduate degrees.

Consisting of 2500 members from all 50 states and 60 countries, the ASHS seeks to promote and encourage national and international interest in scientific research and education in horticulture in all its branches. For more information about the ASHS, visit

Source: Todd West, 701-231-6476,
Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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