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U of M, Crookston Horticulture Students Grab First Place at Mid-America Collegiate Horticulture Society Competition; Senior Jennifer Zoch, Remer, Minn., Named High Place Individual
November 5, 2008

Contact: Sue Jacobson, horticulture instructor, 218-281-8118 ( Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

Crookston, Minn. (November 5, 2008) – Five horticulture students from the University
2008 MACHS Team from the U of M, Crookston: (l to r) Stepheni Tietje, Jennifer Zoch, Kim Keunyung, Kaarina Visness, and Kristine Neu.
2008 MACHS Team: (l to r) Stepheni Tietje, Jennifer Zoch, Kim Keunyung, Kaarina Visness, and Kristine Neu.
of Minnesota, Crookston took first place recently at the annual Mid-America Collegiate Horticulture Society (MACHS) Competition. Hosted by the Northwest Missouri State University at Maryville, the competition consisted of a written horticulture knowledge exam, judging of all types of horticulture crops, and identification of both herbaceous and woody plants.

Sophomore Kim Keunyung, Gwangju, Korea; Junior Kaarina Visness, Karlstad, Minn.; Senior Jennifer Zoch, Remer, Minn.; Junior Stepheni Tietje, Hayfield, Minn.; and Freshman Kristine Neu, Pelican Rapids, Minn., were members of the first place MACHS team representing the Crookston campus. Zoch captured highest honors at the competition when she was named first place individual overall. Coach for the U of M, Crookston team was Theresa Helgeson, lab services coordinator.

“We are so proud of our students and their work for the MACHS competition,” says Helgeson. “They were up against the best in the Midwest, and they have proven they can compete with anyone. Their work ethic and determination have been rewarded by this monumental first-place finish. It was a privilege to work with them as a coach and I am extremely proud of them.”

Besides competing in the contests during the 2008 annual meeting, students traveled to Kansas City, Mo., for tours at Bird’s Botanicals, Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing, and Family Tree Nursery. After a banquet on Saturday night, the MACHS convention ended with a business meeting, brunch and awards ceremony the following morning.

MACHS consists of student horticultural organizations from schools throughout the Midwest in twelve states including: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The MACHS organization and contest provide a means of communication between horticulture clubs of participating schools. Sharing knowledge and ideas is an important part of the gathering. For more information, visit
Students in the horticulture program at the U of M, Crookston have the choice of three emphasis areas including Environmental Landscaping, Greenhouse Production, and Urban Forestry. For more information about the degree program, visit 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit