Front Row L-R: James Phillips, Janine Severt, Donna Riddle-WCC Horticulture instructor, Chance Cleary, Jim King, Frank Blevins-WCC Animal Science/Horticulture instructor, Noah Hudler and Jacob Cook.
Back Row L-R: Dustin Lopez, Morgan Blevins and Andrew Myers.

Wilkes Community College students and faculty attended the 43rd Annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition held at Colorado State University on March 20-22, 2019. This was the fourth time WCC has participated in this annual event, where students test their skills in real-world, competitive events.

Those representing Wilkes Community College were Morgan Blevins, Statesville; Chance Cleary, Purlear; Jacob Cook, Statesville; Noah Hudler, Taylorsville; Jim King, Wilkesboro; Dustin Lopez, North Wilkesboro; Andrew Myers, Lansing; James Phillips, Sparta; and Janine Severt, Wilkesboro, along with instructors Donna Riddle and Frank Blevins.

According to Lead Instructor Donna Riddle, “The students and faculty for the Horticulture program are very grateful to our amazing sponsors for their generous donations. Without their support, this event would have been very costly for students to attend. This year’s sponsors include Hamby’s Pawn Shop, Bartlett Tree Care, Midtown Garden Market, Statesville Farm & Garden, McLelland Farm, Tevepaugh Orchards, Payne Power Equipment, Blue Ridge Tractor, Anchor Coffee, Statesville Southern States, Godfrey Tree Service, TC’s Lawn Care, Sharpes Lawn Equipment, and A to Z Lawn Care.

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition is an annual three-day event which brings together landscape and horticulture students with top industry companies and dozens of the biggest manufacturers and suppliers in the business. This year more than 800 students from two- and four-year colleges demonstrated their skills in real-world competitive events and networked with top companies at the largest career fair in the industry.

The event has grown from its beginnings as a friendly competition between the Mississippi State, Ohio State and Michigan State University horticulture programs to become the signature recruiting and career building event in the landscape industry, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals.