Going Strong Since 1977
It started as a challenge between Mississippi State's Bob Callaway, Michigan State's Roy Mecklenburg and Ohio State's Ron Smith to see whose landscape and horticulture’s students had the best skills.
Mississippi State University hosted the first “Field Days” in 1977, with Professor Robert A. Callaway (knows as the "Father" of the event) acting as organizer. Five schools participated that first year (Ohio State, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Mississippi State) with 200 people, including industry representatives, kicking off the inaugural event.
Building on the success of that inaugural event, and in partnership with the legacy association of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the event grew each year - rebranding as Student Career Days and then finally becoming known as the National Collegiate Landscape Competition.
Robert A. Callaway continued to be a driving force of the event, and in his honor, in 1991, the event trophy, which travels each year, was named the Robert A. Callaway Trophy.