Apr 20, 2016
Time for Training? By Tim Hodson

Does your company need help with its training program? Do you have an employee who you think could use a little additional instruction to make them even better at their job? Or would you like to brush up on your own growing skills?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, then you might want to check out the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension online training program.

For the second year now, the University of Florida is offering five different online greenhouse training courses in English and Spanish.

The course topics include: Greenhouse 101; Nutrient Management 1 (Introduction); Nutrient Management 2 (Advanced); Disease Management; and Weed Management.

Each course runs for four weeks, the cost is $200 per participant and includes a personalized certificate of completion.

Each week there are two streaming video lessons, readings and assignments (approximately three to four hours total commitment per week), which can be accessed at any time of day. Bilingual PhD instructors can be accessed via text chat and discussion features.

Three different levels of instruction are offered — Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced. The first course, Greenhouse 101, is an introductory course. It will begin May 30.

For more information, go to backpocketgrower.org and click on “training” and “online courses” or email greenhousetraining@ifas.ufl.edu.

— Tim


Depot CMO Rises ‘Above the Clutter’

A new online video series, “Above the Clutter With Pete Krainik,” provides marketing executives with an opportunity to dive into some of the complex issues their companies are facing. Recently, Trish Mueller, the Home Depot’s chief marketing officer, participated in the series and detailed how the home improvement retailer is reaching out to consumers both in store and online. Click here to see Mueller’s video.

Wal-Mart, Visa Speed Up Chip-Enabled Credit Card Purchases

Visa and Wal-Mart are responding to shopper complaints about how long it takes to complete a purchase using new chip-enabled credit cards. Visa recently implemented new software that reduces transaction times by 18 seconds, while Wal-Mart’s new checkout procedures with the chip cards is now 11 seconds shorter. According to one study, an additional 8 seconds of transaction time can add $3.2 million annually to labor costs for a retailer.

Lowe’s Pilot Program Gets Real with Shoppers

Lowe’s recently announced it is partnering with Microsoft on a new “mixed reality” pilot program for shoppers in the Seattle area. Using Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headsets, shoppers can walk around an area and “see” potential design elements, landscape options, appliances and other products as a hologram. One retail expert says the technology is “perfectly suited for interior design, landscape and architectural experiences.”


Tim Hodson

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