Vine & Branch, a Carmel-based tree care and plant health care firm, recently provided an agriculture career path tour for students in town for the National FFA Organization conference.
Jud Scott, president of Vine & Branch, asked Salsbery Brothers Landscaping to participate, so the tour showcased arboriculture and horticulture. On the day of the tour, more than 50 students from all parts of the country — from New York City to Alaska — split their time between the two companies.
Scott planned an interactive tour that included demonstrations of a Wood-Mizer portable saw mill, several pieces of equipment provided by John Deere and Vermeer, a climbing arborist, tree trimming with the use of a spider lift and an aerial rescue of Clay, the Carmel Indiana Fire Dept. mannequin from a 40-foot tree. Students also got a chance to handle the climbing safety harness and ropes.
“I thought the students loved the interaction with something different than they were used to. Some had experience with sawmills but liked the tree climbing side. The gear and equipment were flashy, and the students seemed enamored,” Scott said. “And one of the parent monitors commented that they hadn’t considered the possibilities of arboriculture with their students.”
In additions to demonstrations, Scott spoke of the importance of certification, safety and involvement in the tree care industry.
The tour also included time with a representative from the International Society of Arboriculture, who answered students’ questions. In addition, the ISA offered a free student membership to anyone interested.
The National FFA’s annual convention, which ran from Oct. 19-22, drew approximately 64,000 visitors.