SALISBURY — Earlier this year, one Parkside High School junior set out to break one unorthodox world record in the field of agriculture, an industry that typically promotes patience and a steady hand.
But for 51 minutes and 20 seconds, Dayquan Williams was only worried about bedding as many plants as he could with the help of his fellow Parkside High School Horticulture Club members.
After bedding 2,122 plants, besting the previous record of 2,021 plants held by Steven Thorpe from the United Kingdom, Williams said the attempt wasn’t without its downfalls.
“My back was cramping,” said Williams. “It felt so awesome to get to stretch.”
Williams’ interest in agriculture doesn’t come from his parents or relatives. He didn’t grow up on a farm, nor did he have any close friends who really promoted him to get into the field.
He gained his love from the club’s leader, teacher Jerry Kelley, along with working at the A+ Garden Centre, the greenhouse business which is operated by the club’s students.
Wanting a project that Williams and the rest of the juniors in the club could work on, Kelley saw an opportunity when he came upon an article of Thorpe setting the plant bedding record.
“So, I called (Thorpe) and asked ‘Did you really plant 2,000 plants?'” said Kelley. “He encouraged us to try to break the record.”
So, the club planned for the attempt to take place between May 1 and May 15, taking the necessary measurements for the building the plant bed and obtaining the materials and plants needed to make obtaining a relatively obscure record possible.
When the idea was originally pitched to Williams, however, he wasn’t too confident he’d be able to beat it.
“When I heard 2,000 plants, I didn’t think I could do it,” said Williams. “I never did anything like this or had anything like this.”
But the project came together on May 1, with students working in an assembly line format, handing plants and materials to Williams while he physically dug the holes and bedded the plants himself.
Even after setting a world record, Williams’ kept working with the group, editing the video that proved he had set the record.
“He actually took the documentation, edited the video and took witness statements,” said Kelley.
But the two still gave credit to the efforts of the other juniors pitching in on the project, who they said worked hard during the planning stages of the process to make the idea a reality.
“His class on any given day works well together and are productive,” said Kelley.
Williams said he is going to continue being a part of the club during his senior year and he hopes to go on to college and study agriculture in hopes of becoming a landscaper.