A look into the Horticulture Club


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Brooke Jerie, junior in horticulture, and James Hartley, junior in agricultural engineering pull off the tops of of sweet potato plants. All staff members working were required to help harvest to ensure that the entire plot of potatoes would be picked in one day. 

Annelise Wells

Since 1900, the ISU Horticulture Club has been bringing students with an interest in plants and horticulture together to learn and collaborate. From getting hands-on experience in greenhouses to planning out various fundraisers, the club offers its members a wide variety of experiences. 

Barb Clawson, program coordinator and senior lecturer of horticulture, has been advising the club for 19 years. She said there are two main purposes at the core of the group. 

“One is obviously to provide some social activities for our students that are related to horticulture,” Clawson said. “Two is to allow the students to grow crops, do some horticulture things outside of what they do in their classes and really take on that responsibility.”

The ISU Horticulture Club doesn’t have any official dues, but rather requires members to put in some hours of work. Whether that be working at fundraisers or giving greenhouse tours, the only requirements to be a member are that a student be interested in horticulture and willing to put in the effort to help better the club. 

Throughout the year, the club holds a number of fundraisers by selling plants they have grown. Their next fundraiser is this week’s upcoming poinsettia sale that will be held through Dec. 2.

From planting and growing to floral arrangements, the members and advisers take pride in the club taking a general view on horticulture as a whole. 

“We try and dabble in everything to give everyone those experiences and that knowledge to take with them after school,” said current club president Brooke Jerie. 

Not only do the members partake in activities and events within Iowa, but they go on larger trips as well. They recently returned from a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, over the holiday break.

Vice president Emily Stoffel was one of the students who attended the trip.

“It was a great way to be able to see people outside of our club and outside of a class setting,” Stoffel said. “We learned a lot about southern plants.”

These trips are one of Clawson’s favorite things about being an adviser. 

“You see them [the members] get excited about connecting with the industry and you get to see them learn in a different manner than sitting in a classroom,” Clawson said. 

Reflecting on the past semester, Jerie is proud of what all the members have accomplished. 

“We have accomplished a lot in this last year … without the members we have and the enthusiasm and the willingness to work, I mean, none of that would be possible. So we really have a really great group of people in our club and I think that’s really something to be proud of,” Jerie said.

The group currently meets at 6:30 p.m. every other Tuesday in 138 Horticulture Hall. However, those times are subject to shift for next semester.