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Horticulture Students Attend Convention

Students at NDNGLA Conference.jpg

Students at NDNGLA Conference, back row left to right Dustin Gilseth Langdon, Jess McInnes Minnedosa Manitoba, Harlee Cook Watford City and Isabella Houser Coleharbor

Every year, the North Dakota Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape Association holds a convention in the Fargo area. The association is a professional trade organization that has dedicated time and resources to advancing the horticultural industry across the state of North Dakota. The convention consists of educational and informational sessions, networking & tour opportunities, legislation updates, design contests, and resources to assist with specific businesses and aid in marketing products.

Horticulture scholarships are awarded to students across the state. Jess McInnes, a second year DCB horticulture student was awarded a scholarship. McInnes had an opportunity to speak at the awards banquet about her experiences as a horticulture student. She attended several of the breakout sessions. One which stood out to McInnes was by Dr. Esther McGinnis about designing a monarch garden. According to Jess, “It was very exciting to see a professor from NDSU encouraging growers to design gardens specifically for pollinators. I felt that my color choices and placement of plants for the DCB dining hall project were in line with the goals of a monarch flower bed”. Dustin Gilseth, a second year DCB horticulture student also attended breakout sessions. He noted the one by Steve Jones about basic greenhouse production, “covered the basics of running a greenhouse including proper watering, pests, schedules, and other important topics that were great to learn as a student. Hearing how a different greenhouse runs compared to ours (DCB) is crucial, this way I can decipher what I think is right and move upwards from there”.

According to Keith Knudson, Horticulture Instructor at DCB, the conference represents a broad array of horticultural enterprises in the Midwest. “The sessions at the workshop directly relate to many of the classes that students take in the DCB Horticulture Program and students get an understanding of all the different opportunities. It is a great networking activity for students as they are able to meet potential future employers”. One of our other students, Harlee Cook, met Megan Goodell, an alumnus of the DCB Horticulture Program. Meeting her was “inspirational to me as it shows you can get to where you want to go if you put in the work that is needed”.

All the students stated they would encourage future horticulture students to attend the convention. “Conferences like this are good reminders to slow down and remind yourself why you’re doing what you love” states Dustin Gilseth. Students also visited businesses within the horticultural industry to get new perspectives on avenues in which their education may take them.