Stihl, a manufacturer of chain saws and other outdoor power equipment, is working with the National FFA, a youth leadership and agricultural education organization with more than 495,000 members, to help prepare young people for careers in the green industry through the annual Nursery and Landscape Career Development Event.
According to Stihl, green industry jobs are expected to increase by 22 percent during the next 10 years, and educating future workers has become increasingly important. “The expanding landscaping, turf management and outdoor power equipment business offers tremendous career opportunities for bright young workers and these competitions really put them to the test,” says Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for Stihl, in a press release. “Stihl is proud to support the industry by helping students prepare for careers in these fields.”
STIHL has been involved with FFA and specifically the Nursery and Landscape Career Development Event for the past five years. This year, the CDE was held at the annual FFA convention in Indianapolis. The event aims to test students’ knowledge of nursery principles and landscaping. Students take an exam testing horticulture principles such as plant anatomy, production, marketing, turf, landscape design and maintenance. They must also complete practicum’s involving landscape drawing, landscape estimating, plant propagation or potting and identification of plants, disorders and equipment.
The team of high school students from Bear Creek, North Carolina, earned first place, winning a trip to the next level of competition at the Professional Landcare Network’s Student Career Days at Michigan State University in March, where they will compete against college students. The top four teams from CDE – North Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri and Georgia – will compete and have the chance to learn more about the careers available in the green industry and meet representatives from top lawn care and landscape companies around the nation.