National competition heads to Mississippi

Published 6:15 am Monday, March 20, 2023

More than 600 students showcased their knowledge and skills in landscape contracting and management, landscape architecture, and horticulture during the National Collegiate Landscape Competition hosted at Mississippi State this weekend.

The 47th annual event, billed as the largest career fair in the industry, once again returns to its roots at MSU as students from 47 schools participate in real-world, competitive events.

“The first event in 1977 was held at Mississippi State as a competition between five schools with about 100 students and industry professionals participating. Building on the success of that inaugural event, and in partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the event has grown each year,” said MSU Professor Tim Schauwecker, noting the event’s top award—the Robert A. Callaway Trophy—is named after MSU’s first landscape contracting and management professor.

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The annual competition and networking event includes dozens of the biggest industry manufacturers and suppliers.
Mississippi State’s landscape contracting and management major is the only program accredited by the National Association of Landscape Professionals in Mississippi, Arkansas or Tennessee. A landscape contractor is a specialty contractor who provides the materials and services needed to make the landscape architect’s project become reality and provide the management and maintenance needed to keep the project in prime condition after implementation. Entry-level salaries can range from $50,000-$75,000.