February 14, 2010
Texas Tech’s horticulture judging team surged to a second place overall finish last Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science-Southern Region in Orlando. The four-member Red Raider team competed in the association of collegiate branches’ competition for plant identification and judging.
Texas A&M University took first place at the event, while Auburn University placed third. En route to their overall runner-up finish, the Texas Tech team also placed second in greenhouse, floral and foliage crops identification.
Individually, Carson Bledsoe, a senior landscape architecture major from Elgin, placed third in woody ornamental identification, while Winai Sitthigarana, a senior landscape architecture major from Wolfforth, took second place in fruit and nut judging.
Other team members participating in the event were Amanda Delgado, a senior landscape architecture/horticulture major from Slaton, and Matt Orr, a senior horticulture major from Tyler.
Separately, Adam Purnell, a master’s graduate student from San Antonio, won first place honors in the event’s graduate paper competition. His presentation was titled, “Determination of Quercus series Virentes heredity in Texas.”
The horticulture judging team is coached by Thayne Montague, a Tech associate professor of horticulture who holds a joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Research and Cynthia McKenney, a Tech associate professor of horticulture.
During the Orlando meeting, McKenney received the J. Creighton Miller Jr. Distinguished Educator Award. According to officials, the honor was presented in recognition of a distinguished and outstanding teaching career in horticultural science for a period of 10 or more years.
The American Society for Horticultural Science-Southern Region is a regional society that encompasses 14 southern states, including Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Membership in the society, which includes more than 400 active members, is composed of research scientists, teachers and extension specialists from universities, state, federal and private research organizations and industry.
The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments:
The college also consists of eleven research centers and institutes, including the Cotton Economics Research Institute, the International Cotton Research Center and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute.