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KC students compete in PLANET Career Days

Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Kishwaukee College sent a team of horticulture students to compete in the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Student Career Days. The 37th annual national competition and career expo was held in March at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. This was the third year that KC horticulture students competed in this event.

Kishwaukee College sent eight students to PLANET. Participating students were Haleigh Bialas, Allen Davidson, Tyler Hageman, Nathan Huff, Catherine Marsh, Kathryn Piper and Marcelle Schwartz. Horticulture faculty member Matt Ewert accompanied the students to the competition.

The PLANET Competition is an event that draws more than 60 colleges and universities from across the country, making it one of the premier competitive events in the field. The Kishwaukee team had a respectable showing against such prestigious institutions as Penn State, University of Massachusetts, Brigham Young, Kansas State and Virginia Tech. 

KC’s Marcelle Schwartz placed 16th out of a field of 93 competitors in Annual and Perennial Identification. The two-student team of Nathan Huff and Ryan Moorehead tied for 14th out of 59 teams in Hardscape Installation. The three-student team of Marcelle Schwartz, Catherine Marsh and Katie Piper tied for sixth place in Landscape Plant Installation out of 62 teams competing.

“It is very important for these students to see how their skills stack up against other students, from other horticulture programs across the nation,” Ewert said in news release.

In addition to the competition, PLANET is known for being a networking event and draws a variety of horticulture-based companies from across the United States that are there to meet the top students in the country. The companies have an opportunity to see the students compete and the students have a unique opportunity to make connections with companies in the industry.

For more information on the horticulture programs at Kishwaukee College, call 815-825-2086, ext. 2830. 

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