News Release

Students from the Horticulture Club at the U of M Crookston Compete at Professional Landcare Network Student Career Days in Atlanta, Ga.

By ltollefs on
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PLANET students.jpgSix students from the Horticulture Club at the University of Minnesota, Crookston competed recently in the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Student Career Days, a three-day competition for students enrolled in collegiate horticulture programs. National celebrity garden designer P. Allen Smith was the keynote speaker at this year's PLANET Student Career Days held April 8-11 at Chattahoochee Technical College in Atlanta, Ga. Smith is a regular contributor on The TODAY Show.

Students competed against 900 of their peers from 70 universities and colleges in 26 different events.  To place in the top 10 in any event is a challenge requiring thorough preparation and precise execution of both skill and application of knowledge.
Highlights from the competition include:

Senior Jada Ellenberg, Perham, Minn.; and Sophomore Theo Lenneman, St. Michael, Minn. finished 5th in paver installation and Senior Keunyung Kim, Gwangju, Korea, finished 6th in interior landscape design. Finishing in 10th in Landscape maintenance operations were Ellenberg and Senior Michael Field, Spicer, Minn., and Senior Jordan Jacobson, Thief River Falls, Minn., finished 14th in small engine repair. Field and Jacobson finished 20th in truck and trailer operations with Field finishing 21st in leadership skills.

Overall individual finishes by U of M, Crookston students out of the 900 students competing were Ellenberg at 33rd, Lenneman at 44th, and Field at 45th.

"Our students have proven their ability to compete at the national level with peers from all over the country," says Assistant Professor Eric Castle, advisor for the Horticulture Club. "We are extremely proud of them and their performance during the competition. The trip to Atlanta was a great opportunity for them and also gave them an opportunity for nationwide networking with industry professionals and future colleagues."

Student Career Days, which began in 1977, is an annual three-day competitive event among students enrolled in horticulture programs from colleges and universities across the country. The students have the chance to compete in events that are directly related to the skills necessary for a career in the green industry. For more information about PLANET, visit

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo: are (front row, l to r) Assistant Professor Eric Castle, Keunyung Kim, Jada Ellenberg, and Justin Erdmann. Back row: Theo Lenneman, Jordan Jacobson, and Michael Field.