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Student-Run Horticulture Show Scheduled for Sept. 27-28

Posted: September 12, 2014

The "Seasons of Horticulture" will be the theme of the 101st annual Penn State Horticulture Show, Sept. 27-28.
For more than a century, the Horticulture Club in the College of Agricultural Sciences has put together this annual free show, which allows visitors the opportunity to explore various aspects of horticulture.

For more than a century, the Horticulture Club in the College of Agricultural Sciences has put together this annual free show, which allows visitors the opportunity to explore various aspects of horticulture.

Presented by students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday in the Snider Agricultural Arena, diagonally across Park Avenue from Beaver Stadium on the University Park campus. Penn State’s homecoming football game will be held at noon that Saturday.

For more than a century, the college's Horticulture Club has put together this annual show, which allows visitors the opportunity to explore various aspects of horticulture. The purpose of the show is to engage students in designing, constructing and operating an event that will attract and educate the public about plants and landscaping.

Giovanni DeMarco, a senior landscape contracting major from Pittsburgh and one of the event's student managers, noted that several elements will make this year’s show unique.

"We want guests to leave the show having seen horticulture portrayed in a way that they've never seen before -- realizing that agriculture is a year-round pursuit that can be amplified by the current season," he said.

Horticulture Club co-advisor Dan Stearns, J. Franklin Styer Professor in the Department of Plant Science, explained that all of the plants at the show are donated by landscaping companies or purchased by the club and are for sale to the public. Proceeds from the show help fund the club's events and trips throughout the year and provide funds for scholarships.

DeMarco spent two years at Penn State New Kensington before coming to University Park for his junior year. It wasn't long before he heard about the Horticulture Club.

"I was walking down the hall, complaining about all the different kinds of trees I had to learn about," he said. "The president of the club approached me and told me that there was a lot I could learn at their meetings. It was the best thing I could have done my first semester at University Park."

DeMarco and the Horticulture Club went straight to work producing this year's show after returning to campus this fall, but he was quick to mention that the hard work is worth it -- both for the club and the local agricultural community.

"The main goals of the show are to come together -- as a club, as a college and as a community. The show allows us to showcase innovations in horticulture and increase funding and recognition for our club, which will lead to improvements in agricultural production and awareness throughout the region."

DeMarco cited several benefits of joining Penn State's Horticulture Club.

"It's a great resume builder," he said. "I got to know both students and professionals on a more personal basis. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything."

DeMarco added that he hopes students from all majors find time to visit the show.

"We'd love to meet people from all majors -- even if it's not related to agriculture. If you have any interest in plants, come on down."