Front row L to R: Lisa Scott and Madison Gibbs. Back row L to R: Juan Naverette, Ryan Puddington, Daniel Gamble, Hector Balderas and Craig Thurmond.
North Georgia Technical College horticulture students recently took their second annual trip to Disney World.
The trip started with a stop at Traders Hill Farms in Hilliard, Fla., to tour the Aquaponics growing facility similar to one that NGTC will build this spring. Students were given a glimpse of how farming can be done in a greenhouse setting to reduce the need for large scale fields to produce crops.
“My goal was to expose the students to some of the best green industry jobs and widen their thought on the green industry while learning about internship and career opportunities,” said NGTC Horticulture Instructor Craig Thurmond. “The Disney and Traders Hill Farms staff were very focused on what the student should be doing to get a job, learning in college and opening their minds to the diverse industry we work in.”
The group then traveled to Disney World where they visited several parks and took a behind the scenes tour of The Land to see how the parks grow and maintain all the plants at Disney.
“It was a great learning tool for me to show the students many of the plants we identify from slides that we never have a chance to actually see, as well as let the students see some of my work in various places at Disney and surrounding areas. It’s a great place to teach how important a good design is in a large public setting,” said Thurmond.
Students are selected for the trip based on seniority and GPA. Students who attended the trip were Lisa Scott of Cleveland, Madison Gibbs of Sautee Nacoochee, Juan Naverette of Clarkesville, Ryan Puddington of Gainesville, Daniel Gamble of Mount Airy and Hector Balderas of Mountain City.
“I was impressed with the professionalism of the Disney staff,” said horticulture student Daniel Gamble. “The amount of work they manage is impressive and influenced me to apply for their summer internship, which I did when we returned from the trip.”