Shown left to right at WSHS student Sierra Burg’s senior project horticulture event are: Makayla Dornbusch, Cheyenne Burg, Grace Gran, Kindra Wolter, Sierra Burg, Kenzee Schafer and Laura Baker.  

“If it weren’t for FFA, I would have never known I enjoyed this so much,” said Wessington Springs High School senior Sierra Burg of her love of horticulture. “What I’ve learned in FFA has led me to study horticulture at SDSU with the goal of eventually owning my own flower shop.” 

Burg put her skills to the test last month when she hosted a horticulture workshop for other students from FFA Chapters out of Wolsey, Chamberlain, Winner, Platte, Woonsocket and Wessington Springs. 

“I’ve been doing the FFA horticulture contest since freshman year so I ran the workshop like the contest,” she said. “I showed students how to do arrangements and also identify plants. This gave me a chance to teach others about something I really enjoy.”

The student contest also included a charitable aspect: the workshop fees charged for students to attend the event went towards Feeding South Dakota. With help from her mentor, Laura Baker of Baker’s Design, Burg coordinated with flower vendor North American to donate much of the product used at the contest. 

“This was a big learning experience,” Burg said. “It definitely brought me out of my comfort zone having to critique the work of 40 kids my own age. But as the day went on it was rewarding to see their work improve.” 

Burg is also hosting a community workshop on March 27, 2019 for anyone interested in creating a custom floral arrangement. The fee for the workshop is $30 and includes flowers and instruction. To sign up, contact Burg at 605-350-8797 or via email at sb3336@k12.sd.us.