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April 12, 2002

UW-RF Hosts National Horticulture Competition

UW-River Falls hosted the 61st Annual National Intercollegiate Floral Crop Evaluation and Design Competition held Thursday, April 4, at Bachman's Floral on Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis and on Friday, April 5, on the campus of UW-RF. A total of 85 college students on teams from eleven universities participated in the judging and activities.

The UW-RF team ranked fifth overall after judging in all competitions was combined. The top three teams overall were South Dakota State University, Penn State University and California Polytechnic State University.

Competition for the event was in two parts: a judging contest and a design contest. For the judging competition, students judged and evaluated plant material provided by Bachman's and other regional wholesalers that would be sold commercially, including cut flowers, flowering potted plants and foliage plants.

Four UW-RF students were members of the judging team: Kim Bode, a sophomore from Faribault, Minn. majoring in horticulture; Lisa Haukom, a junior from Rochester, Minn., majoring in horticulture; Nick Folk, a sophomore from Fort Atkinson majoring in horticulture; and Kelsey Sparks, a sophomore from Isanti, Minn., majoring in business administration.

For the design contest, held on the campus of UW-RF, students created their own designs with flowers provided by the University. The designs were evaluated by three area florists.

The judging contest took place on Thursday, and the design contest was on Friday. The results were announced at the banquet for the conference, held on Friday at Rodli Commons on campus.

In addition to the contests, the program of events included tours of Brand Dairy Farm in Ellsworth, Bachman's Greenhouse and Len Busch Roses in Minneapolis, and Baileyıs Nursery and Greenhouse in Woodbury, Minn.

Students from UW-RF who attended the event were accompanied by Horticulture Professor Terry Ferris from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Ferris, who coordinated the collegiate competition, has coached the UW-RF team to four national championships in the past.

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