Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- April 26, 2002
Cal Poly Wins National Flower Judging Championship
The 2002 Cal Poly flower judging team has won the 61st National Intercollegiate
Floral Crop Quality Evaluation Contest, defeating teams from Penn State
University, the University of Illinois, Texas A&M, the University
of Minnesota and other schools.
It was the seventh time since 1990 that the team has won the competition.
Cal Poly's three-student team competed with others to judge the overall
commercial quality of 30 separate classes of flowers, ranging from fresh
flower snapdragons to potted hydrangeas. Student Stacey Medema of Paso
Robles finished second overall in the contest.
Medema and teammate Ann Marie Plastino of Nipomo earned first and second
place in cut flower judging. The third judging team member, Sara Castro
of Santa Margarita was named fifth-best judge overall, and Plastino
was named seventh-best judge overall. The judging team alternate, Christine
Lancaster of Tulare, placed first in the designer's choice category
of the optional flower design competition associated with the contest.
Judging the quality of cut flowers and potted flowering and foliage
plants is an academic contest with practical applications, said Professor
Virginia Walter of the Cal Poly Horticulture and Crop Science Department,
the team's coach. Professional floriculturists must evaluate the quality
of the products they grow, buy and sell. The training these students
receive at Cal Poly prepares them to step readily into these demanding
professions, said Walter, who has coached the flower judging team for
"The university is very proud of the success of the flower judging
team," said University President Warren J. Baker. "The students
and their coach, Professor Virginia Walter, are to be congratulated
for a job well done."
Contact: Teresa Hendrix (805) 756-7266