FFA places second in horticulture competition

By Brianne Strobel, Reporter

Kaneland finished second as a team in the Oct. 13 Future Farmers of America horticulture competition.

“Last year, we placed first in the completion overall throughout all the teams,” junior Charlene Steininger, FFA President, said. “I think the team hopes to keep progressing.”

Senior Alyse Olson said that if Kaneland had come in first, they would have had a chance to go to a state horticulture competition.

There were 22 people competing from seven different schools. Of those, junior Francisco Cimmeurusti came in third, Olson came in sixth, junior Allison Grossman was seventh and senior Olivia Fabrizius was tenth in individual score.

 Kaneland FFA members identified different kinds of flowers and plants, sometimes attempting to rank cut flowers in the same order that the judges did.

They also made boutonnieres from carnations that “get judged on how well you tape it and if the flower looks healthy and if it lies flat,” Olson said.

There was a multiple choice written exam that includes topics like plant diseases, landscaping, and other things involving horticulture, which is the culture of plants for food, comfort or beautification purposes. A practicum took place where FFA members tested their knowledge of pruning trees and shrubs.

Steininger said that Kaneland prepared for the horticulture competition by practicing at their meetings and looking through binders of different plants and memorizing it.

For extra practice, they made the boutonnieres for senior night the week before and again at a meeting while timing it. Grossman said that they made sure they know everything that might be on the written exam.