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Horticulture and Natural Resources

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Student Spotlight, Ethan Taylor - Lawn & Landscape

EthanTaylorSpotlightAt one time, Ethan Taylor figured he would end up in the Marines.

That's what his role model and uncle, John Taylor, did when he graduated high school, and it's what a lot of Ethan's peers did as they grew up, too. Ethan grew up in a suburb near New Orleans, where many of his classmates dropped out of school. His brother and mother each did that, albeit at separate times, and Ethan – the "black sheep," as he calls himself – wondered if college was even going to be an option for him.

He also says he was in a rocky spot with his family, so when his uncle stepped in and relocated him to Houston at 15 years old, he was exposed to a whole different world.  Read more...

Swimming Upstream - Lawn & Landscape

LavisDripIrrigationContractors and educators alike are trying to find ways to properly teach irrigation methods to college students.

Just a few weeks ago, Kansas State's Cathie Lavis addressed a room full of homeowners and contractors to give them the basics on irrigation work.

Lavis says – pun intended – that she was trying to "water down" the presentation to make sure nothing went over anybody's head. The information she shared would give them enough background knowledge to keep their lawns green and that's about it. But some of the contractors seemed to already know how to do what Lavis told them, and they clearly had worked in the industry for several years and had plenty of experience.  Read more...

Undergraduate Students Spend Two Weeks Studying Abroad

StudyAbroad2019Twenty-two undergraduate students from the Horticulture, Agricultural Education, Milling Science, and Engineering departments at K-State recently completed a two-week study abroad experience in Western Europe. Drs. Chad Miller and Cathie Lavis led the students through four different countries; the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. (Technically five countries as we had a brief stop in Germany as well!) The educational trip included several visits to a wide array of horticulture, cultural, and historical sites. Students experienced first hand Dutch greenhouse production, including a cut flower hydrangea grower and breeder; potted gerbera plant facility that was highly mechanized and automated; and a greenhouse tomato production demonstration facility. The group also visited the Keukenhof, one of the major bulb display gardens in the world and Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world! Students experienced the Alkmaar Cheese Market and toured and learned about beer brewing at Heineken. The group also learned about Royal Delft Pottery and the importance and function of windmills in the Netherlands at the UNESCO World Heritage site at Kinderdijk. In Belgium the group learned about horticulture and landscape architecture from Peter Wirtz at Wirtz International, a world-renowned landscape architect. In Luxembourg, students learned about wine production at the Bernard-Massard facility. In France, students visited Giverny and Claude Monet's gardens, which were in full color, followed by a stop at Versailles. The group had a day to explore Paris and many of the sites including the Eifel Tower and the Arc de Triumph. The trip finished with a visit to Omaha Beach and the nearby American Military Cemetery.

Barden Hosts International Exchange

BardenHostProfessor Charles Barden annually organizes a trip for international students to the Wamego Tulip Festival, held each spring, followed by a cookout at his home. Most of the students and interns were alumni from Zamorano University located in Honduras, although the students come from throughout Central and South America. He notes that the interns are here on a J-1 Visa, and one of the requirements to host a scholar on that type of visa, is to provide some American cultural experiences, hence the visit to the arts and crafts festival, to see a classic slice of Americana! This year 16 students and interns participated in the event! The cultural experience is a two-way street, with Barden providing the traditional U.S. cookout menu (s'mores anyone?"), while many of the students prepared favorite festival dishes to share from their own countries.

Students Can Get Involved in the Global Food Systems Initiative

KGudeK-State's Global Food Systems Initiative provides students in a variety of disciplines with opportunities to explore innovation, outreach and workforce development. Kelly Gude, a doctoral student in horticulture with emphasis on nutritional values of fruits and vegetables, is one of those students.

Gude is researching nutrition chemistry and the effect that light intensity and spectral quality play on the nutrient density of fresh vegetables. Read more...

Park Management Students & Faculty Attend Conference & Receive Scholarships

PMCDr. Sharp and several students from the Park Management and Conservation Lab recently attended the National Outdoor Recreation Conference in Rapid City, SD. All of the student presented a talk or a poster and three students, Michael Brunson, Sarah Jackson and Dani Dagan received scholarships from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.

Goossen Awarded $7,500 Shinoda Scholarship

RGoossenRenata Goossen, major in Horticulture Production, has been awarded a $7,500 scholarship from the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation, which is the largest scholarship ever awarded by this organization. This highly competitive program awards scholarships to U.S. students who are specializing in Floriculture and plan to work in the commercial floriculture industry during their careers. Renata is a junior at K-State who is active in Horticulture Club and will be completing an internship at Green Circle Growers in Ohio during Fall 2019. Congratulations, Renata!

Schneck's Undergraduate Research Recognized

KSchneckKaren Schneck was awarded recognition as one of the Top Three posters of Gamma Sigma Delta's Undergraduate Research Showcase on Friday, April 26. Schneck presented her Fall 2018 research with Dr. Kim Williams, 'Updating Poinsettia Graphical Tracking Curves for Greenhouse Growers'. She is now pursuing a M.S. in Horticulture with Dr. Chad Miller. Congratulations, Karen!!

Barden meets with visiting Faculty from Indonesia


Charles Barden, Professor of Forestry, recently met with two faculty from Tanjungpura University in West Borneo, Indonesia. They are pictured here with Barden in the middle and Dr. Rugiah Panjaitan (left) and Dr. Emi Syahrial (right). They were part of a group of 30 faculty from Indonesia participating in a 5 week professional communications workshop here on campus. The visitors were particularly interested in Barden's riparian forestry work and his projects with Native Americans. They discussed several ideas for collaborative research.

Three Hort Students Win PGMS Scholarships


Caitlin Carlson received $3000, Alex Bach received $500, and Miah Howe received $500.

Each year the PGMS scholarship committee awards monetary scholarships to students in horticulture or related fields. The top recipient will also have the opportunity to attend the School of Grounds Management Annual Conference & GIE+EXPO in Louisville in the fall. PGMS will pay for the scholarship recipient's conference registration and a travel allowance. Read more.... (go to page 10 & 11)

Kansas State Agriculturist

Horticulture impacts are noted in the latest issue of K-State's Agriculturist magazine. An article featuring the Urban Ag Study Tour to St. Louis is featured on p. 44-45, and lettuce produced in hydroponics courses and donated to Cats' Cupboard, the on-campus student food pantry, is mentioned in the article on p. 20-21. Also WOEM students have an article featuring the Shotgun Shooting Sports team on p. 34-35. Check it out!

Click here to read more.

K-State researchers prepare for first year of Industrial Hemp test crops

HempNewsJCPairJason Griffin, professor in the horticulture and natural resources department and director of the John C. Pair Horticulture Center in Haysville, leads the way in building expertise on the crop, in Kansas.

Industrial hemp is closely controlled by federal and state regulations because it comes from the same cannabis species as marijuana. But instead of getting people high, it is grown for fiber, seed or oil – each of which leads to a variety of end products.  Read more...

Schneck wins Dr. P. Allen Hammer Scholarship

SchneckDümmen Orange recently named Karen Schneck, an undergraduate student studying horticulture and entomology at Kansas State University (KSU), as its latest recipient of the Dr. P. Allen Hammer Scholarship. The $5,000 award is presented in recognition of exemplary academic achievement in the field of horticulture, and is intended to support the next generation of floriculture students towards the completion of their horticulture-related academic pursuits. Pictured: Chad Miller, Karen Schneck, and Kim Williams (l-r). Read more...

Hoppenstedt to Serve as Johnson County Extension Agent

HoppenstedtZachary Hoppenstedt will begin serving as the Johnson County Horticulture/Vegetable/Fruit Production Extension Agent, effective January 13, 2019. Johnson County's office is located in Olathe, Kansas. He earned his master's degree in Horticulture from Kansas State University and his bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Kansas. He will develop and deliver educational programs related to fruit and vegetable production in Johnson County.

Zachary has most recently been employed as a Program Associate for the Kansas State Horticulture Research and Extension Center in Olathe.

Shout Out: Tim McDonnell

This Shout Out is from our Horticulture and Natural Resources Extension State Leader Jason Griffin and is directed to Tim McDonnell of the Kansas Forest Service at the John C Pair Horticultural Center.

At 3:00 p.m. on December 31, a John C. Pair Horticultural Center neighbor and part time employee called Jason's mobile and told him his detached garage/shed was on fire. He had called 911 but knew Tim is a volunteer firefighter with Belle Plaine and hoped he might be able to help. Jason yelled to Tim, and he jumped in his truck and headed across the road. By the time Jason and the rest of the staff ran across the road to see if they could help, Tim had already extinguished the fire with the extinguisher he keeps in his truck. Because of Tim's quick actions the damage to the structure was almost unnoticeable.

Jason added, "Here is a Shout Out to all state employees who possess a wide array of skills and are ready to help our neighbors when needed. Here is a special Shout Out to our Sedgwick County first responders who showed up within minutes of the 911 call. Finally, here is a special Shout Out to Tim for being a man who always responds when asked. K-State Family make Kansas a better place to live!"


PMC Recognition Banquet

PMC_Banquet2018The Park Management and Conservation program had an awards banquet this past week to recognize the amazing achievements of students and faculty. The awards were granted to undergraduates, graduates, full and part time faculty and research assistants that make the program the asset that it is to KSU and the state of Kansas.

Two Attend Conference in Germany

AdamKarlKarl Noren, instructor and Adam Ahlers, assistant professor of Wildlife & Outdoor Management both presented research and findings at the 2019 Pathways Conference in Goslar, Germany.  This conference focused on the Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management.

Noren said, "This was the first scientific conference I have attended or presented at - an experience I greatly appreciate. I enjoyed sharing a small part of my research on attitudes towards Elk in Kansas and I benefited intellectually and from the networking aspect from interacting with diverse researchers from around the world. This conference reinvigorated me to continue to seek answers to new questions regarding my own project, but it also recharged my interest in the field of human-wildlife interactions in other settings. The conference was well organized and I would highly recommend Pathways to anyone interested in any conservation or wildlife management issues. I want to express my thanks to Ryan Sharp for helping with getting my research and abstract accepted and to the HNR department for making my attendance possible."

Upham Receives Award

WUphamWard Upham, extension associate, received the Professional Staff Employee of the Year Award from K-State Research and Extension. The award recognizes an unclassified professional whose exceptional contribution has been noted by their peers. The award will be presented during the K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference Awards Lunch in October. Congratulations Ward!

Barden Honored for Long-Term Leadership

BardenHonored_F2018Charles Barden, professor of forestry, was recently honored for his long service on the board of directors with the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams. He began serving on the board in 2001, and was elected to chair the board from 2007-2011, when he led the effort to hire a full time executive director to move the organization forward. Brad Loveless, current board chair said, "Charlie Barden has been with KAWS since its earliest days, and really helped form and guide the organization as it was establishing its identity as a conservation leader. Our decisions are science-based, so Charlie has been exceptional at keeping staff and volunteers grounded and updated on state-of-the-art knowledge and practices. He operates with wisdom, good humor and integrity and has been instrumental to growing KAWS into its central role of protecting, enhancing and promoting Kansas streams, wetlands and riparian areas."

Horticulture Students Garner Over $90,000 in Non-University Scholarships

K-State Horticulture students have been awarded an all-time high of $91,600 in scholarship monies from national and regional horticultural organizations. Contributing to this total are Megan Haresnape, a senior from Lebanon majoring in Horticulture Production, who has received the top award of $5,000 from the Joseph Shinoda Scholarship for floriculture students and the Bettinger Scholarship for $2,100 from the American Floral Endowment. Conner Nickerson and Geregly Motolai each completed six-month paid internships in greenhouse production operations during Spring 2018 that ended with $6,000 scholarships from the Vic and Margaret Ball Internship Scholarship fund. ShayeAlta Naaf and Alissa Wells both received scholarships from the Professional Grounds Management Society for $3,000 and $4,000, respectively. Michael Reece received a $5,000 scholarship from Trans-Mississippi Golf Association, and Danielle McFadden was awarded $3,000. K-State Horticulture is helping meet the nation's need for future green collar professionals, an

Horticulture and Natural Resources 2018 Spring Graduation

Spring2018HORT2018SpringPMC2018SpringWOEMWe have 15 horticulture students (first picture), 14 park management and conservation students (second picture), and 14 wildlife and outdoor enterprise management students (last picture) that graduated May 11 & 12. Congratulations to all!

Three Retire from HNR

RetirementPartyMay2018The horticulture and natural resources department hosted a retirement reception, on May 16, to acknowledge the long and meritorious service that Ted Cable, Sid Stevenson and Bill Reid have provided to K-State, their students and clientele. These three faculty have a combined 102 years of service to the university! (Pictured are Sid Stevenson, left and Ted Cable, right.)

Students Visit Campus

HaskellStudentsHaskell Indian Nations University students were recently hosted on a visit to campus by Charles Barden, Professor of Forestry. They came to check out future graduate study opportunities in Horticulture and Natural Resources, Vet Medicine, and Psychology. Barden is a frequent guest lecturer on the Haskell campus, and has conducted several collaborative projects with Haskell faculty and students. The group also met with the College of Agriculture Diversity Programs Office, and stopped at Call Hall for our famous ice cream!

Presentation at National Outdoor Recreation Conference

RyanJulieSharpDr. Ryan Sharp and Julie Sharp of the Park Management and Conservation program gave an invited presentation last month at the National Outdoor Recreation Conference in Burlington Vermont. Their presentation titled "Methods that work: Visitor use management monitoring protocols for protected area managers" was part of an inaugural effort to bring outdoor recreation practitioners and researchers together. The conference is managed by the Society for Outdoor Recreation Professionals and is held on an annual basis.

PMC Faculty Joins National Connection to Nature Think Tank

JeffSkibinsJeffrey Skibins, assistant professor of park management and conservation, has been invited to join the national Connection to Nature think tank.

The inaugural event will involve a workshop leading off the North American Association for Environmental Education's Research Symposium. The project will identify strategies to characterize connection to nature in a variety of contexts and explore practitioners' needs for measuring this concept.

The culmination of this first meeting will be the development of a Guide to Conceptualizing Connection to Nature Measures, Assessments, and Strategies, which will be available online and through workshops offered through practitioner networks.

2018 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target took 4th Place

ShotgunSportsTeam2018The 2018 ACUI collegiate clay target championships is in the books! The team ended up 4th place high overall and 5th place American all around in division 3! Alex Hartman also placed 3rd in sporting clays in C class as an individual! Great shooting by everyone this week!

Sprague honored at State Capital Event


Stuart Sprague, a Ph.D student in Horticulture at Kansas State University, received recognition for his research on heat stress in corn at the 15th Capitol Graduate Research Summit. He was one of two Kansas State University winners at the summit. Read more....

Chris Rea, 2014 Graduate of HNR, Passes Away


On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Chris Rea, a 2014 graduate of the Department of Horticulture and National Resources passed away suddenly in his sleep. Chris was attending the 42nd National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) at Alamance Community College in North Carolina. Chris was representing, Mariani Landscape, Lakebluff, IL, the company he worked for since graduating. NCLC is an annual three-day powerhouse event which brings together the top landscape and horticulture students, top industry companies and dozens of the biggest industry manufacturers and suppliers. Each year more than 700 students from two- and four-year colleges demonstrate their skills in real-world, competitive events and network with top companies at the largest Career Fair in the industry.

Chris attended and enthusiastically participated in this event three years in a row, in the same two events, starting in 2012 when Kansas State University hosted. Chris fulfilled his dream and hard work by placing 1st in both Woody Ornamental Plant Identification and Compact Excavator Operation at Colorado State in 2014. Chris graduated in May 2014. Chris is pictured in the 2014 team photo, on the far left, back row. Drs. Davis and Lavis, the team coaches, have often referred to Chris when they strive to encourage the team, both in their competitive events and in life, Chris was a true inspiration. The 2018 NCLC team took 11th out of 62 schools, they indeed were inspired by Chris to do their best.

A memorial for Chris Rea has been established at the Kansas State University Foundation. Contributions may be sent to: KSU Foundation, 1800 Kimball Ave., Ste 200, Manhattan, KS 66502, please indicate fund M47201. To make a gift online, go to www.ksufoundation.org/give/rea.

Students from Across the Country Visit National Parks

Sharp_NtlParks2018Dr. Ryan Sharp led a group of 10 Ph.D. and M.S. students from across the country, in a week long experience in Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park in California. These student came together as part of the Park Break program sponsored by the George Wright Society, a professional conservation organization, and funded through the National Park Service. The students, along with mangers from the parks and faculty from Clemson University and Kansas State University spent the week discussing visitor use management. The students gathered a great deal of information that will be used to generate a report to the parks that will assist in long term visitor use management planning.

North Texas GCSA Assistant Superintendent of the Year

Former K-State student, Cody Crowther, was 2017 North Texas Assistant Superintendent of the year. Click on video to watch.

Two Universities, One Versatile Innovation™ Zoysia Grass

Fry_Innovations2018Two prestigious land grant universities, Kansas State and Texas A&M worked together to develop what is likely to be a very impactful improved turf grass that will be used in applications from landscapes to golf courses. Leading the collaboration were Dr. Jack Fry, Professor - Turfgrass Science, Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at KSU and Dr. Amika Chandra, Associate Professor - Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics, Texas A&M.

Read more....

Cable Publishes New Book


Ted Cable, Professor of Recreation Resources, is pleased to announce the publication of his new book Interpreting Cultural and Natural Heritage for a Better World published by Sagamore/Venture. This book is a complete revision his previously published textbook Interpretation of Cultural and Natural Resources and features entirely new approaches including starting each chapter with a story to illustrate the contents of the chapter. It also features a cover (pictured above) with original artwork by nationally-known artist Tina Christiansen and a Foreword by New York Times best-selling author Eric Blehm. This is Ted's 17th book and the only comprehensive textbook covering the entire breadth of the heritage interpretation profession.

GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year Award - Growing Plants and Relationships

SchneckAwardKaren Schneck is a senior K-State and the 2018 GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year. Her love for flowers and gardening was passed down to her from her mother and grandmother. After learning about horticulture and greenhouses through 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America), "something just clicked" for Schneck and she realized she wanted to have a career working with plants. Her time at K-State has repeatedly confirmed she chose the right path. 

Read more....

Lavis Irrigation & Green Industry Close-up

LavisCathie Lavis, an associate professor in the department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, teaches landscape maintenance, arboriculture and horticultural irrigation. Lavis has taught and nurtured hundreds, if not thousands, of students during her almost thirty years in the department.

In addition to teaching, mentoring, and advising the Horticulture Club, she co-coaches students to compete at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. She also runs her own small landscape business—something she's done since 1990. These days, she only has a handful of clients, but the major bonus is that these properties offer her real landscapes that she can take her students to, for learning and practice. 

Read more....


Alumna Robyn Schmitz wins Award

RobinSchmitzAn independent panel of judges has selected the honorees for Thinking Bigger Business Media Inc.'s 25 Under 25 Awards. These are Kansas City-area for-profit businesses that have been in operation for at least three years and have fewer than 25 full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding small businesses, which are critical to the economy: 89.4 percent of U.S. businesses have 20 or fewer employees, according to 2014 U.S. Census data. For this award, companies are judged on financial stability, ability to overcome adversity and challenges, community involvement, distinguishing or defining characteristics, and company vision.

We congratulate alumna, Robyn Schmitz, Owner of High Prairie Landscape Group, LLC. for being selected as a winner of the 17th annual 25 Under 25 Awards. This is the first time a horticultural company has been recognized for this award. Robyn graduated in 2009 from Kansas State University, specializing in Landscape Design.  Her success comes as no surprise, while a student, Robyn was keenly involved in the Horticulture Club and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), which is now called the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. During her years in our program, Robyn's enthusiasm and passion for horticulture was contagious. She is now recognized for promoting the green industry as a truly professional business that offers quality products and services, employing several of our former students—thank you, Robyn!

To learn more visit this website: http://ithinkbigger.com/2018-25-under-25-winners/

Horticulture Faculty Wins USDA National Teaching Award

ChadMillerChad Miller, Associate Professor of Horticulture, was recognized as one of two recipients of the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture's Best New Teacher Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences. The New Teacher Award recognizes a faculty, with no more than seven consecutive years of experience in higher education teaching, who has demonstrated a commitment to a career in teaching, has exhibited meritorious teaching through scholarship of teaching and learning, and exemplary service to students. The award also includes a $2,000 stipend for the purpose of strengthening the honoree's teaching and advising program. Read more....

Ph.D. Student wins Research Competition

SpraguePosterCompStuart Sprague, Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Park in Horticulture, was selected as a top 10 presenter at Research and the State Graduate Student Poster Session on November 9 by K-State faculty and post-doc judges. He will present his poster, Expression of AtGRXS17 in Maize increases yield under heat stress, at the Capital Graduate Research Summit being held in Topeka in February.  Congratulations Stuart!

PMC Masters Student wins Graduate Research Competition

AshleyKellyAshley Kelly, MS student in PMC who was one of 10 winners in last week's Graduate Research Competition. Ashley's poster, entitled, "Inspiring Future Conservationists through a Junior Zookeeper Program" will represent K-State at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit in February.

Ashley's research project, led by Dr. Skibins, is a 2 year study at Manhattan's own Sunset Zoo examining the impacts of youth programming. Fellow PMC graduate student Susi Algrim contibuted to the project. Congratulations Ashley!

Graduate Student Earns National Turfgrass Science Award

Mingying2017AwardMingying Xiang, Ph.D. Graduate Student in Turfgrass is one of this year's recipients of the prestigious Chris Stiegler Travel Award. She will formally receive the award at the annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America/American Society of Agronomy/Soil Science Society of America.

Congratulations Mingying! She is recognized for her academic achievements in the classroom, research accomplishments, and leadership activities.

Mingying's research is focused on evaluating zoysiagrass breeding lines for cold hardiness, quality, and resistance to the disease large patch along with studying the potential for tall fescue-zoysiagrass blends to reduce the disease brown patch while maintaining overall summer quality.

Kansas State Turf Program Grows Well-Rounded Careers

FryVideo2017Sure, the K-State Turfgrass Science program has plenty to do with the science of growing grass, managing water, and more. But what they're also growing are graduates ready to succeed and advance through a variety of career stages.

"We have evolved over time to incorporate coursework into our program that we consider most important for students to succeed," notes Jack Fry, Professor of Turfgrass Science at Kansas State University.  Read more and watch video....

Toro Hosts K-State Turf Students and Faculty at World Headquarters

Toro2017Fourteen students and five faculty and staff visited Toro World Headquarters in Minneapolis between September 27 and 29.  Toro sponsored the trip that allowed attendees to get an up-close look at the Toro Company and its manufacturing processes.   In addition, the group visited US Bank Stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play (and location of the 2018 Super Bowl) and Hazeltine National Golf Club, which hosted the 2016 Ryder Cup.  Chris Tritabaugh, golf course superintendent, led the group onto the course to discuss some cutting-edge maintenance practices he uses.  Our thanks goes out to all those at Toro for hosting us, and more specifically to Mr. Jim Heinze and Mr. Boyd Montgomery who encouraged us to take the trip, and then led us on an incredible two-day visit.

Faculty and Spouse Assist With New Trail Opening in Honduras

Barden_HondurasDuring a recent visit to Zamorano University in Honduras, Dr. Charles Barden, Professor of Forestry, and his wife, Dianne were honored as ribbon cutting dignitaries, to officially open the first nature trail "Eco Sendero" on the expansive Zamorano campus grounds. They are pictured here with Director Laura Suazo, trail designer Dr. Oliver Komar, and Zamorano President Jeff Landsdale. The trail crosses a number of habitat types, from upland grass meadow to wetlands and forested riparian areas, and will be popular with bird watchers. During his visit, Dr. Barden also caught up with recent HNR Master's grads Dalila Maradiaga and Merilin Barahona who have returned to Honduras, and found fulfilling jobs in their fields of study.

Perennial Plant Association Scholar Winner

MeganHMeganH_groupMegan Haresnape, a junior, in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department recently attended the annual Perennial Plant Association (PPA) conference from July 24 to 28, in Denver, CO. Megan was one of six PPA Student Scholars from the US and Canada to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the organization. In addition the scholarship, she received complimentary registration and lodging to all the symposium lectures and tours in and around Denver, CO. The PPA symposium provides a great opportunity to learn about some of the most current trends, new plants and concerns with perennials in the horticulture industry---from research to production to design. It is also a great networking opportunity to meet a wide array of people across the industry, including some of the prominent individuals in the horticulture industry working with horticulture plants.

When asked about her experience, Megan said, "it was a great networking experience. The symposium left my imagination soaring into what my future could be like. The PPA Symposium is an even I wish more students could attend."

Congratulations, Megan! You did a wonderful job representing K-State and the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department!

Horticulture Student Selected as HortScholar

KarenSchneckKaren Schneck, senior, in the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department recently attended Cultivate in Columbus, OH from July 11-18 as a HortScholar!

Karen was selected as a HortScholar through the AmericanHort organization. The HortScholars program is a competitive scholarship program open to undergraduate and graduate students, attending 2 and 4-year institutions across the United States. HortScholars are awarded an All-Access Pass to Cultivate, one of the horticulture industry's largest professional trade shows and conferences. In addition to the convention pass, scholars receive a complimentary one-year student membership to AmericanHort.

At Cultivate the HortScholars spend seven days attending education sessions, networking and working with industry mentors. It is a truly unique experience designed to assist the scholars with their future horticulture career, through exposure to industry opportunities, and it's leaders.

When asked about her HortScholars experience, Karen said, "I had a FANTASTIC time. It was extremely overwhelming, but so worth it. I now have six new friends that I know for a fact will be my friends for life. I got to meet incredible industry people and learn about all sorts of new plants. This program is so amazing and I wish more people could be a part of it!"

Congratulations, Karen!

K-State Vic and Margaret Ball Intern at Tagawa Greenhouses

WoolleyAmandaAmanda Woolley, a senior in Horticulture Production, was awarded a 3-month American Floral Endowment Vic and Margaret Ball Internship earlier this spring. Amanda just finished her internship at Tagawa Greenhouses, based in Brighton, CO. Tagawa's is a large, primarily wholesale plug/liner and finished plant producer of annuals, perennials, succulents and other crops, covering nearly 60 acres. During a recent visit to Tagawa, Amanda gave Dr. Miller a full day tour of the different facilities, including the large facility in Brighton, along with the other two nearby Table Mountain and Foothills facilities. Tagawa also has a retail garden center in Centennial, CO.

Amanda has a strong interest in succulent plants and one of her projects she was in charge of was developing and coordinating a display of the different succulent plants Tagawa produces, for their recent customer day. The succulent line is a newer endeavor for Tagawa and Amanda was excited to be a part of this! Below is a picture of Amanda with several mixed container pots she designed and planted! She also created a living succulent wall from scratch. Amanda said it was a great learning experience, learning a lot in three months! We look forward to hearing all about her experience in her internship report this fall!  Congratulations, Amanda!

Students Travel to Italy

SpringItaly2017Eleven horticulture students experienced horticulture, history and culture during a two-week tour of the Tuscany area of Italy in May 2017. The trip was led by Dr. Cathie Lavis and Dr. Chad Miller. The trip focused on horticulture and historical sites allowing students to fully experience Italian culture and foods. Highlights were the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence, the Vatican in Rome, vineyards and landscapes of Cinque Terre, fruit production in Emilia Romagna, Italy and the many sights and sounds of Venice. Students are pictured in the Medieval Vegetable and Herb Garden at the University of Studies of Perugia, Italy.

Landscape Management Student Excels at Summer Internship in South Carolina

AlicErpenldingAlic Erpelding spent his summer as a landscape management intern at Yellowstone Landscape in Charleston, South Carolina. Read about his experience....

Horticulture Alumni Operates KAT Nursery

SchwopeTTory Schwope opened KAT Nurseries in 1997 and two years later, he graduated with a degree in business administration and a minor in horticulture from Kansas State University. Tory defines the word, "entrepreneur." He quickly developed a vision for revolutionizing the industry. Since graduating Tory has built an incredible business that employs hundreds of people while contributing significantly to the horticultural industry; he is highly respected within the industry.

Tory frequently gives his time to interact with our horticulture students or to host on-site visits to KAT nursery in Olathe. In 2015, Tory donated all of the plants used in the Horticulture club patio that was built by the horticulture club. He also donated most of the plants in the landscape beds located on the east and south side of Throckmorton. He has also donated trees for Tree Campus USA events.

To read more about this impressive business owner, whose passion for the horticultural industry and vision for the future offers great promise to people considering a career in the urban landscapes of America. Read this complete article in Nursery Management.

Haresnape Receives Scholarships

MeganHHorticulture junior Megan Haresnape has been awarded very competitive national floriculture production and marketing scholarships from the American Floral Endowment and the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Much congratulations, Megan!

K-State Turf Faculty Take Leadership Roles in International Conference

Dale Bremer (Horticulture and Natural Resources, HNR), Jack Fry (HNR), Jared Hoyle (HNR), Steve Keeley (HNR), and Megan Kennelly (Plant Pathology) attended the 13th International Turfgrass Society Conference July 16 to 21 in New Brunswick, NJ. All KSU faculty served as technical editors, associate editors, or reviewers for manuscripts along with presenting their own papers. In addition, Fry chaired a "Zoysiagrass Symposium" which included presenters from Australia, Italy, South Korea, and the United States. Oral and poster presentations (and accompanying journal articles) presented:

Chabon, J. D. Bremer, J. Fry, and C. Lavis. 2017. Effects of soil moisture-based irrigation controllers, mowing height, and trinexapac-ethyl on tall fescue irrigation amounts and mowing requirements. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–6 (2017). doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.04.0242

Fry, J., A. Chandra, D. Genovesi, K. Morris, and M. Xiang. 2017. Winter injury of fine-textured interspecific Zoysia hybrids in the upper transition zone of the USA.
Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–3. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.09.0757

Hoyle, J. and J. Reeves. 2017. Effect of colorant and glyphosate application timing on annual bluegrass and tall fescue control in dormant 'Meyer' zoysiagrass. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–4. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.09.0828

Obasa, K., J. Fry, D. Bremer, and M. Kennelly. 2017. Evaluation of spring and fall fungicide applications for large patch management in zoysiagrass. Intntl. Turfgrass Research J. 13:1-7. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.04.0274

Peterson, K., D. Bremer, and J. Blonquist Jr. 2017. Estimating transpiration from turfgrass using stomatal conductance values derived from infrared thermometry. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–6. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2016.09.0788

Raudenbush, Z. and S. Keeley. 2017. Cultivation reduces infestation of silvery-thread moss in a creeping bentgrass putting green. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 13:1–6. doi: 10.2134/itsrj2017.02.0092

PMC Grad Student travels to Viet Nam to help save endangered wildlife

AshleyKellyFor the next month (July 2017), Ashley Kelly has the special honor of living in a remote village in Cuc Phuong National Park, deep in the jungle of Northern Vietnam. She is working as a film-maker in residence with an organization called Save Vietnam's Wildlife, thanks to a collaboration with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

Save Vietnam's Wildlife are active on the front line of defense against the illegal wildlife trade in Asia. So far they have rescued over 700 animals including Pangolins, Binturong, Leopard Cats and Civets, with over 400 animals being successfully released back to the wild. They have also built a great little education centre with interactive interpretation far beyond what you would expect in this remote location, and cover the costs for local school groups to attend their education workshops! They provide anti-poaching training to park rangers and law enforcement and conduct research on the status of wild Pangolin populations, including radio-tracking and camera trapping. They also conduct social-science research on the wildlife knowledge of locals and their attitude towards consumptive and medicinal uses of wildlife, to develop targeted behavior change campaigns. They have successfully advocated for the removal of Pangolin scales from the list of medicines covered by insurance as well as the up-listing of all 8 Pangolin species to CITES Appendix 1, making it illegal for them to be traded.

Ashley will be assisting with the development of a media strategy and some short films to help raise awareness for the plight of Vietnamese wildlife and the incredible work being done to save them. She will also assist with the development of a behavior-change campaign and some more education resources, conducting an evaluation of their interpretation centre and hopefully putting together some reports based on the social-science data they have collected. Despite the rugged living conditions, sweltering heat, 100% humidity, huge monsoonal storms and a million insect bites, She is having an amazing time and look forward to sharing her stories with you all soon!

K-State Vic and Margaret Ball Intern at Swift Greenhouses

MarkisHill_BallInternMarkis Hill, a senior in Horticulture Production, was awarded a 3-month American Floral Endowment Vic and Margaret Ball Internship earlier this spring. Currently, Markis is in the middle of his internship at Swift Greenhouses in Gilman, IA. Swifts is a 4-acre wholesale perennial, annual and herb plug and potted plant grower. This was the first intern Swift's have had from K-State! During a recent visit to Swifts, Dr. Miller, had an opportunity to tour the facility and visit with Markis. Congratulations, Markis!

PMC professors Skibins and Sharp Alaskan bear research featured in Kansas City Star

LiveBearCamStoryThousands of people around the world are spending hours online this month watching a bear cam in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska. It's livestreaming the action at the noisy, bustling falls on Brooks River, where the salmon are leaping out of the water and brown bears are trying to snag the slippery sockeyes.  Read more....

U.S. National Parks

RSharpRyan Sharp, Assistant Professor in Park Management & Conservation was recently interviewed by KCET in Los Angeles about crowding in U.S. National Parks. The following video highlights this interview (click here to watch video).

Wildcats Reel in Third Bass Fishing National Championship in Five Years

Alsop_BlennTravis Blenn, senior in park management and conservation, and Kyle Alsop, a December 2016 graduate in mechanical engineering, brought home first place June 2 at the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Alabama's Lake Wheeler. Read more...

Eight Students Become Certified

Dry_suitsrescueIn April, Dr. Sid Stevenson (PMC Faculty and US Coast Guard Boat Captain) assisted John Miesner of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in certifying 8 PMC and WOEM students in the Dept of the Interior's Motorboat Operator Certification Course. A test of rescue techniques in the natatorium was part of the 3 day, primarily on-the-water course.

PMC trip to Germany!

GermanyTrip2017PMC graduate and undergraduate students celebrate their time in the mountains of the Black Forest, in southern Germany, with their compatriots from the University of Freiburg. Spring 2017 marked the beginning of a new addition to the PMC course lineup, Heritage Interpretation - Germany. This spring our students are exploring the parks of Germany and France to better understand international interpretation. This fall, students from the University of Freiburg will be spending 2 weeks in Manhattan, MO, and CO to better understand how we do things in the states.

FFA Floriculture CDE Contestants 'Flower Bomb' K-State Building

FFAevent_apr2017The department hosted nearly 200 high school students who participated in the FFA Nursery/Landscape and Floriculture Career Development Events on April 30. To learn a couple of design techniques and about how green walls work, the Floriculture contestants 'flower bombed' the Throckmorton lobby, which left a floral display that was perfectly timed for May Day.

Hummert International Supports K-State Horticulture

KSchneckHummertPlantersHere's a shout out to Hummert International for the many ways that they support K-State Horticulture. Hummert's has been sponsoring a scholarship for a Horticulture production student for over a decade; 2017 recipient Karen Schneck accepts her award from Hummert's Dan McGinnis in the photo at left.

The company also recently donated containers to the KSU Gardens that were planted with seasonal color by students, including Andrew Fox, Hanna Cahalan, and Nate Meier (pictured), who are currently taking the course Herbaceous Crop Production. The mixed planters will be auctioned at the upcoming Garden Party to fund student internships.

Thanks to all of our industry supporters for contributing so much to the success of K-State Horticulture!

Undergraduate Students Compete in Research Symposium


Last Friday, three undergraduate turfgrass science students completed in the Gamma Sigma Delta Undergraduate Research Poster Competition; Dani McFadden, Peyton South and Gage Knudson.  Peyton South (right) received 1st place and a 100 dollar monetary prize.  Congrats to Peyton and a job well done to Dani (middle) and Gage (right)! 

Fits to a 'tee': Golf is 'fore' everyone, and economically it's a great time to be a golfer

FryGolfStoryJack Fry, professor of Turfgrass Science, says new options make golf affordable for everyone.  Because of the golf industry's downsizing after the Great Recession, the sport is more affordable and accessible than ever, according to a golf course management expert at Kansas State University.  Read more...

K-State Hosts National Hort Judging Competition

agconf2017K-State faculty hosted a Horticulture judging competition as part of the NACTA (North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) Judging Conference that was held by the College of Ag April 6-8, 2017. It was great to have so many horticulture students from 2- and 4-year hort programs from around the U.S. in Throckmorton Hall. Congrats to the winners!
Watch video...

Horticulture Graduate Student Awarded First Place at K-State Graduate Research Forum

BraunPoster2017K-State HNR graduate student, Ross Braun competed in the poster competition against other K-State graduate students at the 2017 Kansas State Graduate Research, Arts, and Discovery Forum in Manhattan, KS. Ross placed 1st in the Agricultural Sciences poster session and was awarded a $500 scholarship prize, the title of his poster was “Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Turfgrass Environment.”  Congrats Ross!

Two Hort Students Present Posters

PostersSusi Algrim and Tyler Cribbs presenting their research posters at the George Wright Society conference in Norfolk, Virginia.

Google Maps as a Plant Identification Study Tool

HortTechCheck out the latest cover of HortTechnology! Former graduate student, Dr. Matt Wilson's scholarship of teaching and learning work, with Dr. Miller on Google Maps for the landscape plants courses is featured on the cover. Congratulations!

Fishing's Future Clinic held at Throckmorton

FishingFuture1FishingFuture2Stevenson (PMC faculty) and Bill Horvath (Master Angler, Leavenworth) and the KDWPT hosted a Fishing's Future youth instructor training clinic here in Throckmorton, on Saturday, Feb 25. Approximately 60 participants, including a dozen PMC or WOEM students, were certified (pending background checks) as a result of the workshop. Fishing's Future is a national program with substantial Kansas participation. One of the master angler instructors (far right) is the programs founder, Shane Wilson, who flew in from South Padre Island, TX.

K-State Hort Alum's Interiorscaping Business Provides Plants for Super Bowl Coverage

SuperBowlPlants1SuperBowlPlants2Hort alum Joanne Rush, located in Houston, TX, provided plants for ESPN's coverage of the 2017 Super Bowl. Rush's interiorscaping business, Thriving Botanicals, got the call a couple weeks before the big game to contract with ESPN for the set decorations. Wildcat Pride!

PMC Students Receive Award at Kansas Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference

StudAwardKRPAConf20172017 starts off with PMC students clinching award at Kansas Recreation and Park Association annual conference. PMC undergraduate and graduate students were out in force at this year's KRPA conference, held in Manhattan. Our students won the annual student leadership event and many volunteered throughout the 3-day conference as session moderators, registration/welcome assistants and general support.

Drs. Cable, Skibins, and Stevenson were there too. They were asked by the KRPA executive director to present keynote lectures on interpretation and connecting people to parks.

Three Kansas Arborist Association Scholarships Awarded

KAA_2017ScholarWinersThe Kansas Arborist Association (KAA) awarded three $2000.00 scholarships to three tree-loving students. Students received the checks first-hand at the KAA awards banquet, January 12 at the Shade Tree Conference. From left to right, Dr. Cathie Lavis, Horticulture Scholarship Coordinator, Bruce Moore, Wichita, KS; Lauren Walz, Garden City, KS and Caitlin Carlson, Falun, KS.


Fall 2016 Horticulture Graduates


December 2016 horticulture graduates gather for a photo prior to receiving their diplomas. All are headed to careers in various parts of the country in a variety of areas within the green industry. The range of employment is as diverse as the industry is broad, from greenhouse production, golf course management and sports turf, to landscape companies and vegetable production within urban environments. Most of these graduates had several job offers to select from before settling on their ideal situation and location, salaries range from the $35,000 to $55,000 this includes benefits.

K-State faculty contribute to LED Lighting book

MillerWiliamsNov2016_300pxKim Williams and Chad Miller, with former graduate student Joshua Craver, have co-authored a chapter about the physiological disorder intumescence in a recently-released book about using LED lighting published by Springer [Kozai, Fujiwara and Runkle, eds. LED Lighting for Urban Agriculture]. Williams and Miller have been studying this disorder since 2007. Their chapter is titled "Light Quality Effects on Intumescence (Oedema) on Plant Leaves."

K-State Shotgun Sports Team at the ACUI Eastern Super Shoot

JamesNorinCongratulations to James Norin (Left), Kyle Colnar (Right), and James Scheer (not pictured) for their performances with the K-State Shotgun Sports Team at the ACUI Eastern Super Shoot hosted by Delta Resort and Spa. James Norin, a WOEM student, won American Skeet and took 2nd in International Skeet, Kyle won the Sporting Clays competition, and James Scheer took 4th place in International Trap. With their placing in the international events, James Norin and James Scheer qualified for the International Shootout at the ACUI National Championship in San Antonio, TX this spring where they will compete for $1000 scholarships

K-State Horticulture Graduate Student Awarded First Place at 2016 ASA, CSSA, and SSSA International Annual Meeting

RossB300pxThree K-State HNR graduate students competed in the oral and poster competitions out of 90+ other C5 division graduate students at the 2016 ASA, CSSA, and SSSA International Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ (https://www.acsmeetings.org/). Ross Braun, Ph.D. candidate placed 1st in the Golf Turf Management graduate student oral session, the title of his presentation was "Performance and Recovery of Four Turfgrass Species Subjected to Golf Cart Traffic during Prolonged Drought." Ross also participated in the Turf Ecology and Management graduate student poster session, the title of his poster was "Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Turfgrass Environment." Mingying Xiang and Jake Reeves participated in the Turf Ecology and Management graduate student oral session, the title of Mingying's presentation was "Evaluating Zoysiagrass-Tall Fescue Mixtures in the Transition Zone" and the title of Jake's presentation was "Glyphosate Application Timing Affects Tall Fescue Conversion to 'Sharp's Improved II' Buffalograss."

Horticulture Faculty Assist at National FFA Convention

FFAconv2016Drs. Kim Williams and Chad Miller helped plan and judge the national floriculture career development event (FLOR CDE) at the National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis, October 18-22, 2016. As a member of the planning committee, Dr. Williams designed and ran the ‘growing procedures’ practicum where students demonstrated their potting technique.  Also participating as a judge in that event was a former K-State horticulture graduate student, Joshua Craver, who is now completing his Ph.D. at Purdue University.  Dr. Miller served as a judge for the ‘selling one-on-one’ component of the CDE in which students were evaluated on their ability to professionally sell a floral design, and he assisted with the plant identification portion of the competition. 

After the event was finished, the floral designs created by the contestants were donated to the Richard Roudebush VA Hospital in Indianapolis.  About 150 FFA FLOR participants and faculty distributed hundreds of floral arrangements to the facility and patients.  It was a great opportunity to share in the impact that floriculture has on peoples’ lives.

This work with FFA National is an outgrowth of Williams’ and Miller’s on-going research to understand how the career development events in horticulture correlate and influence participants’ choice to pursue a career in the field.

Class Visit to Fort Larned National Historic Site

SharpFtLarnedDr. Sharp and his FORS 741 Outdoor Recreation Behavior class recently went on a trip to Fort Larned National Historic Site in west/central Kansas. The students were there to complete a class project that will assist park managers understanding of the amounts and types of use at the park. The site is notable for the frontier fort and the location along the historic Santa Fe Trail.

Miller Presents at International Society for Horticultural Science Symposium

ChadMiller#3Chad Miller, assistant professor of ornamental horticulture, presented research findings from two projects at the 12th International Society for Horticultural Science Flower Bulb and Herbaceous Perennial Symposium in Kunming, China, this summer.

Miller's first presentation, "Effects of pre-plant bulb soaking in flurprimidol and paclobutrazol on growth and development of three amaryllis (Hippeastrum) cultivars," built on his previous collaborative work to improve production and product handling protocols for amaryllis growers. His second presentation was a poster titled "Effects of planting depth and mulching on the perennialization of several small geophytic species."


New Greenhouse Industry Internship Video Features 5 K-Staters

HilaryWoodardCheck out the new video that encourages students to apply to the prestigious Ball internship-scholarship program through the American Floral Endowment! Dr. Kim Williams collaborated on the effort that features recent program alum, Hilary Woodard, who was hired by her Ball internship employer, and 2016 Ball Interns from K-State: Rachel Peterson, Matt Briggs, and Kendell Lolley. Interested? Apply to the program today! Go Wildcats! 

K-State Horticulture Alumni - Thriving Botanicals

JoanneRushCheck out an interior plantscaping business owned and operated by K-State horticulture alumni Joanne (Rayer) Rush and Ryan Rush! Thriving Botanicals (http://www.thrivingbotanicals.com) specializes in interior plant design and maintenance in the Houston, Texas, area. It's great to see where K-State Horticulture can take you!

PMC Students Attend Park Management Leadership Summit

PMCLeadershipSummitPark Management and Conservation graduate and undergraduate students, represented Kansas State University at the inaugural George Wright Society Student Summit at Glacier National Park in July. The George Wright Society promotes protected-area stewardship and is dedicated to the protection, preservation and management of cultural and natural parks and reserves through research and education.

John Kelly (undergraduate) "The Student Summit was so much more than I thought it was going be. The friendly and inviting atmosphere of the students was only surpassed by the magnificence of the surrounding landscape. It was truly one of the best experiences I have been a part of."

Brooke Mechels (graduate) "Words like beautiful and breathtaking don't come anywhere close to doing this wild, mountainous land justice, nor can a frame capture the profound awareness and humility of the expanse. The amiable and relaxed atmosphere of the students, and the unforgettable adventures shared, made the Student Summit an intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding experience."

Horticulture Students Recently Recognized by the Perennial Plant Association

Miranda_KarenPlntAssoThe Horticulture and Natural Resources Department was successful in receiving two of the seven Perennial Plant Association (PPA) scholarships this year! Miranda Alumbaugh and Karen Schneck were both selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, complimentary registration to all the symposium lectures and tours, along with their lodging expenses was provided for the symposium, which was held in Minneapolis, MN in early August. The PPA symposium is a great opportunity to learn about some of the most current trends, new plants and concerns with perennials in the horticulture industry---from research to production to designing. In addition, it is a great networking opportunity to meet a wide array of people across the industry, including some of the prominent individuals in the horticulture industry working with horticulture plants.

When asked about their experience, Miranda said that "The Perennial Plant Association symposium was an eye opener for me. It reminded me of why I chose this career path and has truly inspired me to want to learn more as our industry changes from day to day. I highly encourage everyone within the horticulture industry to attend at least once in their lifetime."

And Karen said that she "was able to meet industry leaders in the field of horticulture I am most interest in. It helped me define the path I want to take a little more clearly and it gave me incredible contacts for my future in the green industry."

Congratulations, Miranda and Karen! You did a wonderful job representing K-State and the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department!

McNair Scholar Presents Her Research

AmandaWoolley300pxCongratulations to Amanda Woolley, a McNair Scholar and an undergraduate researcher working with C. B. Rajashekar, Professor in Food Crops and Phytochemicals. She presented her research on 'Nutritional Quality of Lettuce and Spinach in High Tunnels and Open Field' at the McNair Final Research Presentations. The research is on-going and is being conducted at the Willow Lake Student Farm.

Bear Cam Gives Researchers Insights into Human-Wildlife Connection

BearcamJeff Skibins and Ryan Sharp, both Assistant Professors in Park Management & Conservation, are making national news with their 'Bear cam' study in Katmai National Park, Alaska. A new study centers on Katmai bears, but it's the people watching them both in the park and online who are the focus. Researchers are looking at how watching wildlife changes attitudes toward conservation. Click here for full story and links to the bear cams.

Research Along the Minnesota/Canada Border


Max Larreur, a graduate student working with Adam Ahlers, Assistant Professor of Wildlife & Outdoor Management, is conducting research along the Minnesota/Canada border. He and his undergraduate assistant (Spencer Wesche) are investigating how active wetland management (including hybrid cattail removal) affects wetland wildlife in the boundary waters.

Barden Continues International Exchange

TulipFest2016_300pxProfessor Charles Barden organizes a trip for international students to the Wamego Tulip Festival each spring, followed by a cookout at his home. Most of the students and interns were alumni from Zamorano University located in Honduras, although the students come from throughout Central and South America. He notes that the interns are here on a J-1 Visa, and one of the requirements to host a scholar on that type of visa, is to provide some American cultural experiences, hence the visit to the arts and crafts festival, to see a classic slice of Americana! This year 23 students and interns participated in the event! The cultural experience is a two-way street, with Barden providing the traditional U.S. cookout menu, while many of the students prepared favorite festival dishes from their own countries. Barden has traveled to Honduras numerous times, and he has attended the weddings of two of his former graduate students in that country.

K-Staters at Smith Gardens in Aurora, Oregon

KendellLolleyIntershipAndresAlmilloWilliamsKendell Lolley, senior in Horticulture Production, is wrapping up her 6-month Vic and Margaret Ball Internship at Smith Gardens production facilities in Aurora, Oregon. During a recent visit to her internship site, Kim Williams also had a chance to catch up with Andres Alamillo, K-State Horticulture alum, who is Inventory Control Manager at the site. Andres manages a dizzying amount of plant inventory and is currently leading the operation's efforts to adopt lean-flow manufacturing processes. Wildcat Pride!

Costa Rica President visited K-State

CostaRica1CostaRica2On May 19, President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solís visited KSU, invited by the prestigious Landon Lecture Series.  He talked about current trends related to security and democracy in Central America.  Two HFRR graduate students, Marisol Mayorga and Kenny Artavia participated with the Costa Rican Students Association in this event.  In addition, Marisol and her family were invited to meet with Costa Rican Ambassador Román Macaya and President Solís for a breakfast hosted by the office of President Myers for Costa Rican students, faculty, staff and their families at the President's Suite in the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium.  Upon completing her Ph.D., Marisol and her family expect to return to Costa Rica, where she will join a university faculty.

Two Hort Students begin their Internships in Dallas

EgyptConnerFirstdayKSU Horticulture students, Egypt Edwards and Conner White, begin their summer internships at Southern Botanical in Dallas. Southern Botanical is one of the Top 50 Landscape Design, Build, and Management firms in the U.S.

Rourke Wins All-expense Paid Trip

AlanRourkeAlan Rourke, senior in Landscape Design, won an all-expense paid trip to the American Society of Irrigation Consultants 2016 Regional Conference in San Luis Obispo in mid-May. Alan was awarded this opportunity for earning first place in Landscape Irrigation Design at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition at Mississippi State University in March. Alan gained the National title by receiving first place out of thirty-one competitors.

Ahlers select as Participant in the Wildlife Society Leadership Institute

AdamAhlersDr. Adam Ahlers was one of 10 individuals selected from North America to participate in the 2016 The Wildlife Society Leadership Institute. Individuals were chosen based on their demonstrated leadership capability, academic record and current leadership roles within The Wildlife Society and their professional position.  Read more...

A Day of Service at Tallgrass Prairie

TallGrassPrairieSaturday, April 23, the Tallgrass Chapter of the George Wright Society Student chapter spent a day of service at Tallgrass National Prairie and Preserve. The students were accompanied by club co-advisor Jeffrey Skibins. Students spent the morning painting bison stalls and the afternoon on an interpretive outing on the prairie. The club is planning many additional service days and several trips for 2016-17 academic year. Everyone is welcome!

PMC Students Win Awards at National Conference

NAIRegion6_2016Earlier this semester, Tuesday Meredith won First Place and Anastasia Slough won Second Place in the Collegiate Interpretation Competition at the National Association for Interpretation Conference in Springfield, MO. Tuesday presented a talk on the Flint Hills and Anastasia presented a talk on Sunflowers. Marisol Mayorga won First Place in the non-personal interpretation category for interpretive signs designed to be used at Rock Springs 4-H Camp. Ten students from the Advanced Interpretation class (PMC 741) attended this conference.

Braun Recipient of Graduate Student Teaching Award

BraunCOAawardRoss Braun was one of four recipients of the Richard Elmore Brown Outstanding College of Agriculture Graduate Student Teaching Award. The Richard Elmore Brown Agriculture Endowment for Graduate Student Teaching Awards in the College of Agriculture provides funding for these awards. A cash award is awarded to each winner. Dr. Don Boggs recognized each winner at the Graduate Student Awards and Recognition Reception on April 5, 2016.

K-State Landscape Contracting Team

LandscapeTeam2016CONGRATULATIONS to the K-State Landscape Contracting Team who took 8th place out of 63 schools and brought home a check for $500.00 for winning the Career Development Series with 25+ team members. The event took place this year at Mississippi State over spring break.



Top 10 winners in their events:
Eric Grant: 3D Exterior Design (3rd)
Beau Fick and Simon Loose: Arboriculture Techniques (9th)
Conner White: Business Management (2nd)
Nate Snethen and Ty Lutz: Hardscape Installation (9th)
Alan Rourke and Justin Malone (2nd): Irrigation Assembly
Alan Rourke and Jonathan Jessen: Irrigation Troubleshooting (5th)
Alan Rourke: Irrigation Design (1st National Champion!)
Brooke Evans and Karen Schneck: Employment Development (4th)
Paul Knackendoffel: Sales Presentation (9th)
Ty Lutz: Skid Steer Operation (10th)
Jesse Gilmore: Turf and Weed ID (8th)

Former Student Wins Army Recreation Award

MattEnochMatt Enoch was a 2001 PMC graduate. He just returned to Fort Riley in the last couple of years; serving in the capacity of community program coordinator for the Post's MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) program. He was just awarded Employee of the Year for Excellence in Army Recreation. "I've brought Matt into my Administration class recently," indicates Sid Stevenson. "He shares the MWR's budgeting approach and a unique agency management perspective. Congratulations Matt!

A Neighbor's Gift Inspires


Trash bags full of bulbs inspired Chad Miller’s love for horticulture at a young age.
By Kelli Rodda

Chad Miller and his family had just moved to Amery, Wis., and the family had made friends in the neighborhood, including a woman who was about to move from her farm. It was clear even to the 12-year-old Miller that she was more than a gardening hobbyist.

“When I’d go to her house, I’d flip through her stacks and stacks of flower catalogs. Her gardens were full of cannas, gladiolus, hollyhocks and iris,” he recalls.

But when it was time to auction off the property, the neighbor couldn’t bear to see her precious flower bulbs stay with the house, fearing the new owners would not take care of the garden. So she began digging up hundreds and hundreds of bulbs — despite the fact that it was not the proper time of the year — and she gave Chad several trash bags full of them.

“I planted them, watched them grow, and that was the catalyst for it all. When most young teens at that time were buying CDs, I was buying dahlias, tulips and daffodils,” he says.

Miller didn’t come from a farming background, although his father’s family had a long legacy of farming.

“My dad grew up on a dairy farm, but he didn’t choose that as a career. Instead, he became a mechanic. But I did enjoy spending time on my uncles’ farms. I just didn’t think that’s where my career path would lead me,” he says.

Miller continued caring for his many bulb gardens, wondering if there was a chance he could start a landscape or greenhouse business.

“In high school I remember taking an aptitude test, and I ranked high in sciences and ag with art close behind,” he says.

Once his counselor convinced him to pursue a horticulture degree at college, Miller enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“I thought I’d get my degree, go back home and open my own greenhouse, but my advisor and mentor Terry Ferriss encouraged me to think bigger,” he says.

Miller participated in an internship in the Netherlands, which started a fire for international travel and fueled his love for bulbs.

Ferriss suggested that Miller consider becoming a college professor and pursue a master’s degree and attend a Ph.D. program. It’s something Miller had been considering. After all, in a short time his neighbor had helped teach him about bulbs, and it was his desire to honor that special memory and teach others.

Miller received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, and studied under Mark Bridgen and Bill Miller. He also participated in another program in the Netherlands.

And in 2011, he began teaching at Kanas State Univeristy, where he leads the Landscape Plants 1 and 2 courses, the plant propagation course, and he co-teaches an orientation-type course that prepares students on how to be a successful horticulturist.

“I basically see every undergrad that comes through the horticulture program at Kansas State,” he says.

He’s fortunate to continue his love for travel by teaching courses abroad. He’s taken horticulture students to Australia, England, Wales, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. He’s also accompanied colleagues at Iowa State to South Africa.

Taking students to other countries not only teaches them about different production methods and plants, but it also introduces them to new cultures.

“Many of our students come from a rural area — they come from high school graduating classes of 50 people. So the benefits of them traveling abroad are multifold. They’re learning more about the world around them, and seeing the many different sectors of horticulture and how they all fit together,” he says.

It’s that international aspect that may attract more students to choose horticulture as a career. Connecting with the global horticulture community and the idea of helping to change the world could be the hook the industry needs to get more young people involved, Miller says.

But closer to home, Miller is on a task force at Kansas State with Kim Williams, professor of greenhouse management, to come up with ideas on how to get in front of younger people at an early age and get them interested in horticulture.

“One idea is to partner with the Future Farmers of America organization more often because they’re well established and they have a horticulture and floriculture component,” he says.

Upland Gamebird Management Class

WOEMClassTraining400pxWOEMClassTraining3_400pxWOEM's Upland Gamebird Management class had the opportunity to learn dog-training skills from Jeff Morris Thursday, March 4.


New Green Wall in the Lobby Area

GreenWallLobbyA new green wall was recently added to HFRR's lobby area on the first floor. The wall of living plants has transformed the lobby environment and offers hands-on learning for students taking the HORT 377 Interior Plantscaping course. A beautiful new addition--swing by to check it out!