Plant enthusiasts rejoiced as ABAC’s Horticulture club hosted a succulent class on the night of February 20. The event was hosted and taught by Dr. Frank Flanders, an associate professor of agricultural education. Flanders seemed excited to be hosting such an event that gained in popularity. Flanders expressed his excitement stating, “We had people from all around, as well as from ABAC. One lady came from Tallahassee!” Flanders also made sure to give credit to Kayla Ming and Morgan Fritze for putting on the event and Horticulture Club President, Johnathan Strickland and club members Tania Bautista, Ariel Lewis, Christy Stewart and Macie Wheelers for aiding in the setup.
Flanders said the importance of the class or the club, in general, is to give a start to people interested in an occupation pertaining to horticulture. “Many of our members are planning a career in horticulture and related careers. Macie Wheeler, for example, aspires to be a cut flower producer after college and Ariel Lewis wants her own greenhouse operation,” Flanders went on to explain. The club upheld three goals for the class: provide leadership training activities for club members and officers, implement avenues for educational opportunities for students interested in horticulture and establish a spirit of service in the club’s members. The club goes by a program called STEPS (Student Engagement Programs), which encourages hands-on learning.
Due to the fantastic turnout for the class, the horticulture club plans to prepare a second succulent planting class in late March. Additionally, the club aims to be active in other events around campus. “We are a very active club, conducting a number of activities on campus and supporting our sister organizations in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as those around campus,” Flanders explained. Some of the activities Flanders mentioned were the annual hay bale competition, other educational classes, the homecoming plant sale and industry tours. As of now, the Horticulture Club is preparing a trip to Athens for their Spring Tour where they will visit the State Botanical Gardens, visit production nurseries and the horticulture trial gardens at UGA.