MSU hosts national collegiate landscape competition

Contact: Vanessa Beeson

A student works on a hardscape installation with pavers outside
Hardscape installation, as shown in the photo, is one of over 30 competitive events that students participate in at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. Students also attend workshops and the largest career fair in the landscape industry. (Photo by David Ammon)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—More than 600 students will showcase their knowledge and skills in landscape contracting and management, landscape architecture, and horticulture during the National Collegiate Landscape Competition hosted at Mississippi State next week [Tuesday-Saturday, March 14-18].

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.

The annual competition and networking event includes dozens of the biggest industry manufacturers and suppliers.

The schedule includes:

Tuesday [March 14]: Qualifying Exams and Registration

Wednesday [March 15]: Qualifying Exams and Workshops

Thursday [March 16]: Opening ceremony, 8-9:30 a.m., Newell-Grissom; Career Fair, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Sanderson Center

Friday [March 17]: Competitive Events, 10-11:50 a.m., 1-2:50 p.m., 2-3:50 p.m., 3-5 p.m.

Saturday [March 18]: Closing ceremony, 9-11 a.m., Newell-Grissom

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.

For more information on the competition, contact Schauwecker in the Department of Landscape Architecture at 662-325-7895, or Associate Professor Jason Walker at 662-325-4561. Volunteers are needed for the event and can sign up at Volunteers have access to the workshop and events.

For more on MSU’s landscape contracting and management program, visit

For more on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, visit

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