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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Horticulture Department hosts Career Day for prospective students

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Photo by John Chapa

Horticulture receives double the expected turnout for their first-ever recruiting fair. 

On June 5., the Department of Horticulture at Texas A&M hosted its first-ever Horticulture Career Day for prospective students from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Horticulture/Forest Science Building. The degree program introduced students to different areas of horticulture and the unique opportunities the major offers for future careers in the industry.

On this same day, the Horticulture Department hosted a 4-H State Roundup competition in Landscape Design. 4-H is the largest non-profit organization focused on youth development. The four H’s stand for head, heart, hands and health.

The department then invited high school students who registered and participated in the competition in the morning to attend the department’s Career Day. Extension Program Specialist for the Texas Master Gardener Program Jayla Fry said they received twice the expected turnout with over 50 student attendees.

“Our department hosted a landscape design competition for 4-H students this morning, so we planned to host a career day for high school students already at the university to learn about the Horticulture department,” Fry said. “We wanted to give students who may be interested in a similar career to learn about career opportunities … by attending today, they learn hands-on about the different programs such as floral design, hydroponics and greenhouse gardening.”

The Horticulture department falls under the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences. According to A&M’s enrollment profile, 166 students are currently enrolled in a horticulture degree program. The department hopes to grow in total enrollment and introduce more students to the field by raising awareness of the program, Fry said.

“We’re a smaller program, so having these many students attend and express interest in the program is huge,” Fry said.

The students attended a presentation featuring department heads and a panel of students currently enrolled in the horticulture program. The panel discussed their current program tracks, ranging from hydroponics to propagation, and answered questions about their degree and future career plans.

The event ended with a tour of the building and surrounding greenhouses. One of the highlighted stops on the tour included the Benz School of Floral Design which is particularly unique because it is the only endowed floral design school in the nation.

A&M is also the only university to offer a B.A. in Horticulture. Horticulture Graduate student Marson Marshall led the tour of the Benz School and shared what opportunities come with earning credits in floral design.

“The [horticulture] industry is huge on scholarships, especially when you’re in floral design because there is an organization called the American Floral Endowment, which gives a large sum of money to our program each year,” Marshall said. “Many horticulture students join the Student American Institute of Floral Design, where they attend international meetings and compete against other teams. Our floral design teams took home first and second place last year. One former floral designer now works as Head Floral Designer for the Biltmore Estate.”

With growing awareness of the largest horticulture degree program in Texas, A&M is flourishing in preparing its students for careers in the industry.

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