Clarkesville, GA – Seven students from North Georgia Technical College (NGTC) recently received honors during the 2023 National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. Overall, NGTC placed 27th out of 46 colleges and universities.
The NCLC is an annual event for outstanding landscape and horticulture students as well as industry professionals. This year, more than 500 students gathered to showcase their skills in 30 real-world, competitive events and to interact with the top manufacturers and suppliers in the industry.
Rodney Nicholson of Hiawassee, Ga., placed first in the Compact Excavator Operation event and 15th in Tractor/Loader/Backhoe Operation. Hayden Bone of Cornelia, Ga., and Nick Makres of Demorest, Ga., received 11th in the Irrigation Installation event. Bone also placed 15th in the Irrigation Design event.
Valentino DiGiorgio of Hartwell, Ga., placed 19th in the Mini Track Loader Operation event. Ansley Anglin of Gainesville, Ga., Makres, and Nicholson placed 18th in the Landscape Installation event. Other team members included Malachite Riley of Stockbridge, Ga., and Caroline Williams of Mount Airy, Ga.
“The outstanding results from the National Collegiate Landscape Competition illustrate the hard work, dedication, and skill of our faculty and students,” said NGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs Mindy Glander. “It is truly remarkable to see students from smaller colleges and universities compete and emerge victorious against much larger institutions like the University of Georgia, Texas A&M, Brigham Young University, and Mississippi State University. Our students have undoubtedly left a lasting impression on their judges and peers.”
“We are proud of the NCLC team that Jeff Wilbanks put together this year from our Horticulture program at NGTC,” said NGTC Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Oglesby. “Not only did they compete and place at a national competition, but they also outperformed several four-year universities with the hands-on skills they displayed. Their hard work and dedication to their industry knowledge will make them excellent additions to the Northeast Georgia workforce.”
“I am grateful to the NGTC faculty and staff who have provided guidance and support, as well as to our industry partners who have provided valuable opportunities for our students to gain real-world experience,” said NGTC Horticulture Instructor and Advisor Jeff Wilbanks. “The success of our students is a testament to the quality of education provided by NGTC, and we are excited to see what the future holds for our students and our institution.”
For more information regarding the Horticulture program or other programs at NGTC, visit northgatech.edu or call 706-754-7700.