Cal Poly Students Take Top Spots in Statewide Floral Competition

Cal Poly’s Floral Design Team took home several top honors at the California State Floral Association’s 14th annual student competition, held Nov. 3 at the Original Los Angeles Flower Market.

All members of the four-person team placed in the top five. Freshman Kassidy Talbot, an agricultural and environmental plant sciences major from Woodland, California, placed second; sophomore Samantha Theodozio, a recreation, parks and tourism administration major from Atwater, California, placed third; sophomore Kiara Benavides, an agricultural science major from Woodlake, California, placed fourth; and freshman Madison Reaves, a dairy science major from El Cajon, California, placed fifth. Lecturer Melinda Lynch is the team’s advisor.

“My experience at the 2019 State Floral Competition was a day I will never forget,” Talbot said. “I learned so much from the other competitors’ arrangements and seeing how innovative all of our minds are. I am so thankful to get the opportunity to compete against my amazing peers.”

Students competed in two separate categories: a surprise package in which all competitors received identical materials but did not learn the theme until five minutes before the competition, and a student designer’s choice of an arrangement representing the preselected theme of “Flowers — A Visual Dialogue.” Students had 45 minutes to complete their designs.

About the California State Floral Association
The California State Floral Association (CSFA) has served the flower industry for almost seven decades, acting as a voice for florists, growers, wholesalers and retailers through governmental and industry relations. From mom and pop flower shops to growers, wholesalers and floral teachers and students, CSFA has helped its members navigate an ever-changing marketplace by uniting all segments of the industry. Visit

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranch land, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students. Visit

In photo at the top, Cal Poly freshman Kassidy Talbot with her second-place winning entry at the California State Floral Association’s 14th annual student competition.

Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo

December 2, 2019

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