Ag Journeys

“What I’ve learned has far exceeded my expectations.”

Nicolas Cerminara

Hometown: Horsham, PA

Major: Landscape Contracting, Design/Build Option

Clubs: Penn State Horticulture Club (served as president, vice president, and Horticulture Show manager) and Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (served as chaplain).

Good at: Enjoying life, surveying, estimating and bidding, entrepreneurship, motorsports, tree climbing/arboriculture, traveling, weightlifting and training.

Why bother with college?

“I thought I knew a lot, but now I know I was just scratching the surface. What really sold me on the Landscape Contracting program was how it combined practical, hands-on learning with science and management. Soil science, design, sales, Human Resources, plant identification, urban planning, etc. I’m developing competencies to take our family business to the next level or start something new and different.”

“I am prepared for whatever the industry throws at me.”

It’s business. It’s family.

“We have a family landscape contracting business. My brothers and I grew up in it. While I’m getting an incredible horticulture and business education here at Penn State, I look to my family for the intangibles. My mother manages the back end of the business, and she runs a tight ship. Incredible attention to business detail.  My dad? Up every day before dawn. Meticulous with his machines and an eye for perfection in his work. Never takes a sick day. If I ever think about giving up or being frustrated, I look to him. My father is a bull.”

Nicolas and brothers
Nicolas in Utah

Taking our landscape show on the road.

“We competed in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition held at NC State in 2022 and Mississippi State in 2023. This year it's Utah. Getting out there in the world really brings to light how big the landscape industry is, the endless opportunities, and how it’s a great environment for like-minded people to connect. It is a real community.”

“Am I an advocate for this program? I convinced my own little brother to enroll.”

Nicolas at Horticulture Show

Strip away landscaping and you strip away life and beauty.

“Imagine walking across this campus or through your city but all the trees have been removed. Imagine what that would do to your frame of mind and sense of well-being. Landscape is vital to human success and happiness.”

TKE for life.

I’m in a leadership role at Tau Kappa Epsilon. Yes, of course, fraternity life at Penn State is unbelievably fun and that was the initial attraction. But it is a force for good. People don’t know the extent of the civic engagement, service, and mentorship that occurs. And the friendships I have built will be lifelong.”

How good? Family good.

“College is a big commitment of time and resources.  When my little brother started looking at colleges, I made sure that Penn State, and Landscape Contracting, were part of his search. He’s now working through his first year! Coming from a family like mine, where family means everything, I cannot think of a stronger way to endorse the program.”