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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU students to compete in national floral judging and design contest

Eight New Mexico State University students will create floral design pieces and judge the merits of flowers and potted plants as part of the 66th annual national Inter-Collegiate Floral Judging and Design Competition being held at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., March 29 and 30.

New Mexico State University student Lyndsey Tiley, left, and floriculture program coordinator Sabine Green host a flower sale Wednesday, March 14, in Gerald Thomas Hall on the NMSU main campus in Las Cruces. The sale was to raise money for the NMSU Intercollegiate Floral Judging and Design team. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

"This year is my 10th anniversary coaching the floral judging and design team and we're going back to OSU, the place where we competed 10 years ago," said coach Sabine Green.

The contest is broken into two distinct categories: judging and design. Four of the students will participate in the judging contest and four will participate in the design contest.

The judging team members are Jessica Corrie of Clovis, N.M., Margaret Kovar of Deming, N.M., Amber Martin of House, N.M., and Jennifer Hopper of Roswell, N.M. The design team consists of Jaclyn Simon, originally from Holland, Monica Gomez of Las Cruces, Victoria Arroyave of Clinton, Md., and Kelsi Cureton of Douglas, Ariz.

The team is coached by Green, floriculture program coordinator for NMSU's plant and environmental sciences department, with the help of assistant coaches Dean Goodman and Jessica Lucero, an NMSU graduate student.

The judging competition consists of several different classes of four examples of potted plants or cut flowers. Participants are not allowed to touch the classes, and have three minutes to rank the specimens according to a number of different characteristics, some desirable, like shape, color or size, some undesirable, such as disease, insect or mechanical damage.

During the design contest, the designers have one hour to create an original, unique floral design using flowers they have been provided and adhering to a specified design category.

The design contest is split into four classes; the first two are considered amateur and the last two are considered professional. Students without professional experience in floral design may compete in the professional categories, but students who have professional experience are only eligible for the professional categories.

This year, the amateur participants will create a centerpiece and an asymmetrical triangle. The professional participants will create a tablescape and a bridal bouquet in a holder.

"Two of our designers are extremely strong. I think they'll both place in the top three," Green said.

Many of the students have spent the entire year preparing for the competition.

Green teaches a class on floral design and judging that meets once each week. During the class period, students practice judging classes of potted plants and cut flowers, then the students create original designs.

The students in the design competition have a weekly practice in addition to their class time.

The students also hold a weekly flower sale. In addition to being an opportunity to hone students' design skills, proceeds from the sale go toward practice materials and funding the team's annual trip to competition.

Additional funds for the trip come from the plant and environmental sciences department and private donors.

Anyone interested in more information on the Intercollegiate Floral Judging and Design Team can contact Green at (505) 646-3405.