National Collegiate Landscape Competition Students

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition (formerly called Student Career Days) is an annual three-day competition and networking event for students enrolled in horticulture and landscape programs at two and four-year colleges and universities from across the country. More than 600 landscape industry students from approximately 50+ schools demonstrate their skills in more than two-dozen real-world, competitive events coupled with a Career Fair where students meet with representatives from the top landscape firms from around the nation.

Each year, a different host location is selected which gives participants a chance to see different parts of the country, highlighting different climates and native plants.

Just like many industries, most landscape firms struggle to find enough qualified candidates, so this event is an important part of bringing industry firms together with students and faculty.

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.

Future Competition Sites

Fort Collins, CO | March 19-22, 2025

East Lansing, MI | March 18-21, 2026

Past Host Schools

1977 — Mississippi State University
1978 — Mississippi State University
1979 — Texas Tech
1980 — Ohio State
1981 — Milwaukee Area Technical College
1982 — Oklahoma State
1983 — Richland College
1984 — Ohio State, ATI
1985 — Mississippi State University
1986 — Oklahoma State University
1987 — Richland College
1988 — Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
1989 — Milwaukee Area Technical College
1990 — Colorado State University
1991 — University of Kentucky
1992 — Cal Poly Pomona
1993 — SUNY Cobleskill
1994 — University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1995 — North Metro Tech
1996 — Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
1997 — Richland College
1998 — North Carolina State University
1999 — University of Kentucky
2000 — Mississippi State University
2001 — Colorado State University
2002 — Illinois Central College
2003 — Hinds Community College
2004 — Columbus State Community College
2005 — University of Maryland
2006 — Brigham Young University, Provo
2007 — Michigan State University
2008 — North Metro Tech
2009 — Cal Poly Pomona
2010 — Chattahoochee Technical College, North Metro Campus
2011 — Joliet Junior College
2012 — Kansas State University
2013 — Auburn University
2014 — Colorado State University
2015 — North Carolina State University
2016 — Mississippi State University
2017 — Brigham Young University, Provo
2018 — Alamance Community College
2019 — Colorado State University
2020 — Virtual Event (planned host: Michigan State University)
2021 — Virtual Event (planned host: Virginia Tech)
2022 — North Carolina State University
2023 — Mississippi State University
2024 — Brigham Young University