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By Kristie Garcia
For the Las Cruces Bulletin
The New Mexico State University floral team competed regionally this summer, bringing home one first-place honor and two second-place finishes.
The team will be able to compete nationally for the first time next year in the American Institute of Floral Designers collegiate competition due to NMSU floriculture program coordinator Sabine Green receiving full induction into AIFD as a Certified Floral Designer in July. Only collegiate teams with a certified coach may participate in the national competition.
The team competed in regionals in Amarillo, Texas, which included the Dorsey Cup and the Silver Cup. NMSU’s Cheyenne Pena finished second in the Dorsey Cup. The prestigious Silver Cup featured two NMSU students in the top three finishers – Pena, who earned the first-place spot and Monica Gomez, who finished in second place.
“It’s important to note that the regional competition includes professionals,” Green said. “Our students compete against other florists in the industry, not just collegiate competitors, so it presents a completely different playing field.”
As part of her first-place honors, Pena also received a scholarship to a week-long floral school. This was her second time winning first place in the Silver Cup.
“Winners must sit out for two years,” Green said. “Cheyenne won two years ago, sat out the last year and won again this year.”
The floral team is open to all NMSU students, although members are encouraged to enroll in Horticulture 240 and 241. Green said team members must also have enthusiasm.
“The majority of the people in the industry are artists first and business professionals second,” she said. “You must think outside of the box and have a general love for flowers.”
NMSU floral team members and students in the horticulture floral design course will have flower arrangements available for purchase in the lobby of Gerald Thomas Hall each Wednesday of the semester from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Customers may bring their own vase and purchase by the stem, or they may choose from a variety of pre-made arrangements. The cost ranges from $5 to $40, depending on each customer’s needs.
Proceeds benefit the floral team and help with competition travel expenses and flowers used for mock contests and floral design practice.
For more information regarding joining the team or purchasing floral arrangements, contact Sabine Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.