Michigan State Offers Greenhouse Courses and Certificate Program
Growers and technical staff in the greenhouse and controlled environment industry can earn a plant health professional certificate by taking greenhouse online courses administered through Michigan State University Extension and University of Florida.
Over 4,000 growers have already graduated from individual courses through the University of Florida IFAS Extension Greenhouse Training Online program and the MSU College of Knowledge. Now by passing five courses in plant health in these programs, growers can obtain a new certificate of completion that recognizes their training, skills and dedication, and helps them grow in their careers.
“We are developing a training curriculum for horticulture professionals already working in industry. Online works well for growers who are already living the ‘how to’ of horticulture but benefit from understanding the ‘why’ of their decision-making from the underlying science,” says Paul Fisher, professor and Extension specialist at UF IFAS.
Heidi Lindberg, greenhouse and nursery educator with MSU Extension, says, “The online floriculture College of Knowledge program has provided a broad audience from 39 countries and 46 states the introductory knowledge in greenhouse production. It has been very successful in training those new to the industry. It provides a great foundation that professionals can then use to build real-life experience.”
Saqib Mukhtar, the associate dean for Extension, Agriculture and Natural Resources at UF IFAS Extension, adds, “This program checks off several boxes for modern Extension. That includes English and Spanish language; online and available any time of day; collaboration by leading universities for national and international impact; and high-quality training by leading experts.”
How it Will Work
Growers must pass five of six courses, including Nutrient 1 (UF, Paul Fisher), Disease Management (UF, Carrie Harmon), Weed Management (UF, Chris Marble), Water Quality and Treatment (UF, Fisher and multi-state), Abiotic Disorders (MSU/University of Kentucky, Garrett Owen), and Biological Control (MSU/Kansas State University, Ray Cloyd).
Growers sign up for individual courses through the UF IFAS Greenhouse Training Online and the MSU College of Knowledge websites. They can then email firstname.lastname@example.org once five courses are successfully completed and obtain their certificate of completion at an annual graduation ceremony (the first graduates are expected in July 2023).
Now through Dec. 31, you can sign up for four greenhouse production online courses: Abiotic Disorders of Greenhouse Crops, Greenhouse and Horticultural Lighting, Biological Control for Greenhouse Growers, and Floriculture Root Zone Management. This series serves as an excellent resource for greenhouse growers new to the industry or those who want to learn more about other areas of greenhouse crop production or pest management.
These four non-credit courses are pre-recorded and registrants have three months to complete the courses: Dec. 1 through March 15, 2023. Students in the course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning on the topics. Registrants also can complete the optional self-assessment quizzes to engage with the material throughout the course.
Registration for all courses ends Dec. 31, 2023.