to MCCC Horticulture Expo March 17-18
Participants to Include High School Students From
Across New Jersey
Windsor, N.J. - The Philadelphia Flower Show may be larger, but
Mercer County Community College (MCCC) will host a horticulture
event that is closer to home - and free! MCCC is the site of its
first ever Horticulture Expo from March 16-18, which is expected
to draw 300 students from 28 high schools across the state. On March
17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors are invited to view hundreds
of entries that will be displayed in the skywalk on the second floor
of the buildings that surround the MCCC Quad - from the Student
Center to the Library to the Communications Building hallway on
the college's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.
Judging will be take place on Friday, March 16. Award winners will
be announced in the afternoon. Students will be judged in 30 categories
including a live floral design competition in the gymnasium that
will last the full morning; spectators will be able to view the
competition from the gymnasium balcony. Other categories include
house plants, terrariums, dish gardens, bedding plants grown from
seed, and themed floral arrangements such as wedding and congratulatory
bouquets. The prizes will include Best in Division and Best in Show.
MCCC's Horticulture Program Coordinator Amy Ricco is working with
the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to implement and coordinate
educational activities that will be offered to students throughout
the day on March 16, including talks by national officers and academic
workshops. High schools with agriculture/horticulture programs are
participating in the Expo, including representatives of the FFA
Student Leadership Organization. The list of schools includes Allentown
High School-Upper Freehold High School, Northern Burlington Regional
High School and South Hunterdon Regional High School.
Ricco says there is a lot of excitement surrounding the event. "We
are looking forward to giving these students a chance to display
their work and to provide them with a chance to interact with students
from other schools who share their interest in the field."
The annual event was formerly held at malls, a setting which proved
unable to accommodate the pre-event set-up.
Ricco notes that as one of only four community colleges in the state
to offer Horticulture and Plant Science degree programs, MCCC is
the ideal central location for the event. She adds that visiting
students can tour Mercer's extensive greenhouse and learn more about
the college's Horticulture Program as a possible college major.
According to Ricco, job prospects for those with a degree in Horticulture/Plant
Science are strong. There are openings in a variety of settings,
including greenhouse production, golf course management, nursery
production, landscape design, and sports turf management. "Students
are getting internships, and they are getting jobs," she says,
adding that there will be more jobs than students to fill them this
academic year. She notes that the growing interest in community
gardening and cooperative gardens has bolstered the field.
For directions to the college and more information, visit www.mccc.edu
or call Amy Ricco at 609-570-3372.
Detailed descriptions and course requirements for MCCC's Ornamental
Horticulture program are available here;
information on Plant Science is available here.
Or, visit the website here.