Energy runs high at Student Career Days
Many of the country’s best and brightest green industry students came to Pomona, California, March 26–29, 2009, to compete in PLANET’s 33rd Annual Student Career Days, held at Cal Poly Pomona.
Sixty-one college teams, including a total of 798 students, participated in 26 individual and team competitions, such as tree climbing, paver installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, skid steer operation, and the newest event to showcase this year — compact excavator operation, just to name a few. Cal Poly Pomona previously hosted the event in 1992.
Awards were given to individuals as well as to teams. The individual winners, called “Superstars,” are first-place Superstar Seth Reed of Brigham Young University–Idaho (Rexburg, Idaho), second-place Superstar Ben Roney of Alamance Community College (Graham, North Carolina), and third-place Superstar Dawn Strickland of University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia). The top winning schools are Brigham Young University–Idaho in first place, Colorado State University in second place, followed by North Metro Technical College in third.
Aside from the bragging rights, students also received scholarships and award money. This year PLANET gave almost $70,000 in scholarships through its PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation. In addition, the on-site Career Fair offered students the opportunity to interview with green industry companies for full-time positions and internships.
“This year's SCD Event was another tremendous success,” says Jennifer Buck, a national recruiting director and Student Career Days committee chair. “Cal Poly Pomona and their team were great - organized, friendly, always ready and willing to help out. It was a great weekend full of education, training, networking, career fair, and competitive events.”
PLANET thanks the event’s Platinum Sponsor STIHL Inc. and the Gold Sponsor Ariens/Gravely. Caterpillar Inc., JOHN DEERE, Ryan Turf Renovation Equipment, BRICKMAN, Husqvarna, Pavestone Company, and The Toro Company were also major sponsors of the event.
For complete SCD details, please visit the Web at StudentCareerDays.org.
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Brad Rowe is 2009 Outstanding Educator of the Year
The PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) recently announced the recipient of its 2009 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award — Brad Rowe, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan. The award was presented March 29, 2009, at Student Career Days.
The Outstanding Educator of the Year Award was developed by the PLANET AEF, in cooperation with the PLANET Accreditation Committee, to recognize professors who have made significant contributions to green industry education. Educators nominated for this award have devoted time, energy, and enthusiasm to their programs and to the education of future leaders in the industry.
Rowe has been teaching at MSU since January of 1997, and has since made a tremendous impact on the quality of not only Michigan State’s horticulture program, but also on the lives of his students. He is continuously updating the courses he teaches to reflect the current trends in the green industry and keeping the program and curriculum competitive with other programs around the country, ultimately helping to bring MSU’s program to be one of the best in the country. He has developed a complete and highly integrated teaching, research, and extension program that is respected locally, nationally, and internationally by nursery and landscape stakeholders, green roof industry leaders, and his peers.
As a student in 1991, Rowe was the overall individual winner at Student Career Days. Beginning in 1998, he took on a different role, serving as an organizer, adviser, mentor, and coach for the MSU Student Career Days team. His teams have always ranked in the top 10, and his landscape contract management students have routinely taken first place in the cost estimating competitions.
Rowe has gone above and beyond the call of duty in his efforts to teach and inspire the future leaders of the industry and is very deserving of this special award.
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Scholarships awarded at Student Career Days Green industry students were presented with scholarships at PLANET’s 33rd annual Student Career Days event at Cal Poly Pomona, in Pomona, California.
The PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) presented 64 scholarships, totaling almost $70,000, to students enrolled in landscape/horticulture programs at two-year and four-year universities and colleges across the country. These schools must have a PLANET-accredited landscape contracting curriculum, be a PLANET student chapter member, or participate in PLANET Student Career Days.
Committed to the advancement of landscape professionalism, PLANET AEF was created to help the future leaders of this industry fund their education. These leaders of tomorrow will define the standards of professionalism and use their education to meet the challenges of the future.
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2009 PLANET AEF scholarship fund.
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JOHN DEERE joins the ranks of PLANET AEF Platinum Ambassador With the addition of a second $25,000 pledge to the PLANET AEF, JOHN DEERE is now at the Platinum contribution level of $50,000. JOHN DEERE became a Founding Ambassador, one of the first 25 contributors to the Foundation, in 2002.
Over the course of its more than 170-year history, JOHN DEERE and its employees have continuously supported education activities at all levels. The JOHN DEERE Green Industry Scholarship is intended to help a financially-deserving student who is pursuing a degree related to the green industry. The student is selected based on the merits of his or her scholastic accomplishments and outstanding citizenship.
JOHN DEERE’s J. Gilbert Peña, who is PLANET AEF vice president, is passionate about the work of the Foundation. “The PLANET AEF is too critical to the future overall success of the green industry to let it become static,” says Peña. “The founding members of the Foundation laid out a great path that we should be following now. In these tough economic times, we must accelerate our efforts to raise the level of the Foundation in order to be of more help to more green industry students now when they need additional financial support.”
The PLANET AEF scholarship fund was formed to award scholarships and fund educational activities for the green industry. Promoting and advancing the lawn and landscape services industry by supporting academic excellence is the Foundation’s mission. To fulfill its mission, the PLANET AEF relies on tax-deductible donations and long-term pledges from individuals, corporations, organizations, and estates. The Foundation’s assets total more than $2 million. go to top
There’s still time to sign up for PLANET Day of Service
PLANET members will be undertaking a variety of volunteer lawn and landscape projects in communities across the country to demonstrate the importance of maintaining our green spaces on the national PLANET Day of Service this Earth Day, April 22, 2009.
If you do not have a project planned and would like to participate, there’s still time to organize a small event. It can be as simple as planting a tree at a neighborhood school, sprucing up a local park, or even something unrelated to lawn and landscape projects. Another option is to visit the PLANET Day of Service Web site and check out the listings of events already planned. Other groups in your area may be looking for volunteers to help with their projects.
For complete details about the PLANET Day of Service, log onto planetdayofservice.org, or contact PLANET Public Relations Director Heather Finney at (800) 395-2522.
PLANET Day of Service Lead Sponsors include Agrium Advanced Technologies; American Profit Recovery, Inc.; JOHN DEERE; Lawns by Yorkshire Inc.; and Shindaiwa.
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Buck it up for military families
As part of Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops Program, which provides free lawn and landscape services for military families where the major breadwinner is serving overseas, the “Buck It Up For Our Military Families”is a national program launched in March and will conclude with a week (May 10–16, 2009) of thanks to our military families.
Project EverGreen is enhancing the GreenCare for Troops Program and raising money for three main reasons to:
Buck it Up is a chance to give thanks to our military families and gives consumers from urban to suburban to rural areas a chance to give $1 (or $5 or $10) to Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops Program. Visit Project EverGreen and click on Learn More at the top of the page to view the Buck it Up music video.
- Create a scholarship program for military family members seeking a career in the horticultural industry.
- Increase our infrastructure to better handle the 7,500 military families and 2,100 volunteers participating in GreenCare for Troops.
- Enhance our free lawn and landscape service.
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Safety takes center stage at NAOSH “Safety Means Always Coming Home” is the theme of the May 3–9, 2009, North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week. NAOSH Week is intended to raise awareness of occupational safety, health, and the environment. Several organizations, including the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, represents thousands of businesses that have partnered with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) to support NAOSH Week. These supportive organizations reach out to millions of people around the globe on the importance of being safe at work.
Additional online tools available include a presentation, safety tips, young worker brochure, and bookmark.
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Certification testing at PSI/LaserGrade Linda Kiscellus, CLP, of Moore Landscapes shares her experience of testing for PLANET certification at a PSI/LaserGrade testing facility.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of the whole test center process. The online program was very thorough, and I was given as much time as I needed to become comfortable with the format before the test began. Previously, taking the tests in the midst of the Green Industry Conference or Mid-Am was a real challenge because there was so much other activity competing for my attention and energy. The test center allowed me to plan and prepare based on my schedule and my needs.”
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How to survive in tough economic times
To address the issues facing the green industry during this economic downturn, the March, April, and May issues of PLANET’s Personnel Notebook will provide information and guidelines to help you prepare for the worst and focus on what you do best.
Available to members in the HR University section of PLANET’s Web site, Personnel Notebooks entitled “The Small Business Survival Guide for Tough Times” will be broken down into three parts:
Part I: Your Company (March)
Part II: Your People (April)
Part III: The Legal Issues (May)
In addition, for companies that would like to provide some assistance and information to employees affected by the downturn, an “Employees Survival Guide for Tough Times” is also available on the HR University section of PLANET’s Web site.
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Select Publications on Sale Now
Spring Publications Sale! Buy 2, Get 1 FREE now through April 30, 2009. Choose from select business, marketing, safety, and Spanish publications. Order by phone or special order form. Hurry! Sale ends soon! You can also shop hundreds more PLANET publications in the new electronic version of PLANET’s 2009/2010 Publications Catalog, now available for FREE download. We’ve highlighted the new publications, best sellers, special offers, and Spanish resources throughout the catalog to help you with your shopping. Make the most of your PLANET membership by taking advantage of discounted member prices.
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A message from your PLANET President Jason Cupp, CLP, takes a look back at his year as president of PLANET in his April message to membership. “A PLANET member recently asked me what I thought my legacy would be. My answer was, ‘That’s for the members to decide.’ As for me, being in this position has had a tremendously positive affect on my life. And, I’m confident that affect has just begun.”.
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Check out the April issue of Safety $ense Approximately 74,000 people in the United States seek emergency-room treatment for mower-related injuries annually, according to a study published in the April 2006 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine. This month’s Safety $ense gives employers and supervisors the dos and don’ts for avoiding these types of injuries.
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PLANET is working hard to deliver on the five strategic goals of the PLANET Promise and would like to share those achievements with its members on a monthly basis in this e-newsletter. Read the latest edition of Inside PLANET.