Cal Poly’s Floral Design Team Wins First Overall National Competition – Cal Poly News


Cal Poly’s floral design team won three first place awards from the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) National Student Competition, held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas in July.

The team won first place overall and first in the Wearable Flowers and Bridal Bouquet categories. The team also placed fifth in Sympathy Design and 10th in Interpretive Design. The competing team members were Alyssa Snow, a major in agricultural education from Galt, Calif .; Amber Buzzard, a junior from Orange, Calif., Studying animal science; and recent graduate Megan Borzone (Horticulture and Crop Science, ’19) of Copperopolis, California. As a team, they placed first in the general classification.

In the individual competitions, Buzzard took second overall, took first place in Flowers to Wear and placed sixth in the Wedding Bouquet and Sympathy Design categories.

“It was an experience I will never forget,” said Buzzard. “It was both exciting and nerve-racking, and I’m already looking forward to the next competition.

Borzone finished third overall, second in Wedding Bouquet and fourth in Flowers to Wear. “The competition is tough because no matter how hard we think we have prepared there are so many different factors that change the day of the event that we have to adapt to when it comes to our designs,” said Borzone.

“This competition was extremely difficult as some of the categories actually changed the day before the competition,” added Melinda Lynch, CalPoly Team Advisor and Coach, Floral Design Lecturer in the Department of Horticulture and Plant Science. “Our students have had to adapt to change while producing creative and cleanly executed designs. I am very proud of how each member has been able to stay focused and balanced. “

A total of 51 students from 13 higher education institutions in the United States and Canada participated. Some of the participating schools include Texas A&M University, Mississippi State University, Missouri State University, Ohio State University, New Mexico University, and Tennessee State.

The competition, held as part of the AIFD Symposium 2019, aims to give students the opportunity to use the floral design skills they develop in the classroom. It encourages creativity, ingenuity and focus while providing a real life experience in a high pressure situation. Students are judged on their use of color, depth, line, balance, emphasis, unity and proportion. Judges also take into account mechanics, proper interpretation of the category and creativity.

About the American Institute of Floral Designers
The mission of the American Institute of Floral Designers is to advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership, and to recognize the achievement of excellence in this art form. Founded in 1965, AIFD is today the premier non-profit organization in the floral industry dedicated to establishing, maintaining and recognizing the highest level of professional floral design. For more information visit

About Cal Poly College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally-listed comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences is made up of expert faculty members who pride themselves on their ability to transform study-driven students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in a sustainable manner. Students have access to state-of-the-art labs, including ranch lands, orchards, vineyards, and forests, all of which form the basis of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth largest agricultural college in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students.

Pictured above, From THEFrom left to right, Melinda Lynch, Amber Buzzard, Megan Borzone and Alyssa Snow at the opening night of the 2019 American Institute of Floral Designers Symposium.

Contact: Anne-Marie Cornejo
805-756-2427; [email protected]

September 13, 2019

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