Horticulture students at Mississippi State University recently brought home multiple awards from the Southern Region meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences.

Seven undergraduate students competed in commodity evaluation and plant identification in four categories: woody ornamentals, greenhouse crops, vegetable crops, and fruit and nut crops.

Teammates Timothy Finnegan of Laurel, Hilary Heath of Starkville, Wade Hummer of Huntsville, Ala., and Mary Spitchley of Madison placed first in commodity evaluation of fruit and nut crops. The team also placed third in commodity evaluation and plant identification of woody ornamentals.

Wade Hummer was the highest-scoring individual overall and won first place in commodity evaluation and plant identification in woody ornamentals. Hilary Heath placed third in commodity evaluation and plant identification in fruit and nut crops.

“The student’s continued success at the professional society competitions is an indication of the quality of the students attending Mississippi State and the success of our program,” said Richard Harkess, faculty advisor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Other students competing individually were Deanna Lyle of Aberdeen, Kyle Tester of Silver Spring, Md., and Spencer Waschenbach of Kahoka, Mo.

Students sell plants and participate in other Horticulture Club fundraisers to raise money to attend national and regional competitions.