The 24th PLANET Student Career Days team from NC State traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado on Mar. 20-23 to meet industry professionals and compete with other college students from across the country in events such as arboriculture techniques, compact excavator operation, irrigation troubleshooting, and plant identification. The team spent the whole school year raising funds for the trip through projects such as a landscape installation at the State Fairgrounds and a mulberry production model at the ReVenture Park near Charlotte. Seniors Travis Black and Shawn Beam, both of whom have competed in previous years, served as the student leaders for the team. In addition to spearheading the team’s efforts to prepare for the competition, Travis invited all schools at this year’s competition to next year’s event, which will be hosted at NC State.
Out of 65 schools attending the competition, NC State’s team came in 10th place overall. Sam McGowen placed 3rd in Turf and Weed Identification, as well as 6th in Business Management. Caitlin Davis placed 5th for Sales Presentation, and Shawn Beam placed 5th for his Small Engine Repair abilities. Nathan Gantt and Max Alff also came in 5th for their Landscape Maintenance skills.