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Cloquet student on winning horticulture team from UMC

Four seniors from the University of Minnesota Crookston took home top honors at the Mid-American Collegiate Horticultural Society (MACHS) competition held Oct. 3-5 at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. The horticulture majors making up the first-place team include Catlin Kersting of Cloquet, Ashlynn Hartung of Lindstrom, Mitchell Sledge of St. Louis Park and Tim Staudahar of Hibbing. The UMC team finished in first place overall, followed by Iowa State University in second and Colorado State University in third. The coach for UMC is Theresa Helgeson.

The teams competed in four categories each worth 200 points for a total of 800 points overall. The categories were General Knowledge; Judging (both fruit and vegetable classes and nursery and floriculture classes); Herbaceous Identification; and Woody Identification.

In the contest for Herbaceous Identification, Staudahar tied for first place and Hartung tied for second. In Woody Identification, Hartung took first and Staudahar took second, and the two finished in first and second place, respectively, in Overall Individual.

Juniors Ashley Radke of Grand Forks, N.D., and Sarah Lanners of Nashwauk, and senior Amanda Thompson of Pine River also competed as individuals. Lanners finished third in the Herbaceous Identification contest.

The competition, which takes place during the MACHS annual conference, provides a means of communication between horticulture clubs of participating schools. This year marked the 41st annual conference of the organization. Sharing knowledge and ideas is an important part of the gathering. The MACHS competition includes collegiate horticulture clubs from 12 Mid-American states.