Blooming Initiation

MU floral designers travel to Las Vegas

The MU Student American Institute of Floral Designers (SAIFD) will be initiated into the AIFD as an official student organization at the AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas June 25-July 2. MU SAIFD will then be one of only 16 student organizations across the nation.

TigerGardenMU SAIFD began the process of becoming an official AIFD student organization last summer. They have been an organization at MU since August 2012, with 11 total members. Individual applications of members’ work and creations were required to apply for AIFD membership.

The mission of AIFD, according to the AIFD website, 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.

Seven College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources students will be attending the symposium to represent the University of Missouri, along with Kim Martin, Tiger Garden manager/Plant Sciences design instructor, and Becky Means, Tiger Garden event coordinator. They include Kelsey Price, Kelly Herrman, Hannah Yoakum, Lesleighan Kraft, Spencer Hoagland, Erin Casey and Sara Hoffman.

“The symposium is an inspiring atmosphere,” Martin said. “People from all over the world attend, bringing creative ideas and displays. This helps students see that floral design can be a career, not just a hobby.”

The chapter received funding for this trip with help from Karyn Brooke, owner of Sidelines Custom Floral Design in Kansas City, Mo.

Brooke talked to her MU alumni clients in Kansas City and they collectively donated almost $8,000 to fund the trip. If they had not donated money, only two students would have been able to attend the symposium, and would have had to fund most of the trip themselves, Martin said.

The students will also get to help Brooke design arrangements for the final night of symposium, a grand masquerade banquet.

The MU students also raised money through wreath sales, candy bar sales, gardening classes and donations from Columbia businesses.