AmericanHort has launched a new Greenhouse Technician Certification, a significant step in horticultural training tailored to meet the unique needs of the greenhouse sector. It is designed to help greenhouse owners train grower teams and enhance their bottom line by implementing best growing practices. This initial effort is the first in a series of specialized online certification programs planned by AmericanHort.
The certification was developed in collaboration with an advisory group of industry leaders in response to the increasing demand for accessible, specialized education in greenhouse growing.
“This is a significant opportunity for our community to foster a deeper understanding of greenhouse operations,” says Ken Fisher, CEO of AmericanHort. “The objective of this certification is to provide useful tools for greenhouse owners to use in training their associates and provide growers with the practical knowledge and skills they need to succeed on the job. We are committed to expanding future certification programs to cover all industry segments, addressing the crucial training needs of the horticulture sector.”
Empowering Your Workforce Eith Expert Knowledge
Designed as a self-paced, comprehensive online course, the Greenhouse Technician Certification offers video demonstrations from seasoned industry experts. It aims to equip employees with specific, actionable knowledge, ensuring confidence and efficiency in their roles. The structure includes pre-test assessments, module tests, and a final exam, ensuring successful learning. A hands-on component is also available for enrollees to use with their supervisor to demonstrate their improved skills.
Comprehensive Curriculum Covering Core Horticultural Concepts
Key learning topics in this certification include:
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- Plant anatomy and nomenclature
- Essential plant nutrition
- Soil taxonomy
- Environmental factors influencing plant growth
- Fundamentals of pest management and scouting
- Proper planting and pruning techniques for common ornamental crops
- Irrigation fundamentals
There are three modules in the Greenhouse Technician certification, with four or five courses per module. Each course is approximately 30 minutes long. To receive the certification, a participant must pass all three modules and the final exam. Certification is valid for two years from date of completion and can be maintained through continuing education credits received by attending qualifying AmericanHort educational programs.
Who Will Benefit from This Program?
This certification is ideal for:
- Individuals without formal education in horticulture, aiming to increase their knowledge and confidence in greenhouse operations
- Greenhouse team members needing fundamental technician skills
- Supervisors responsible for training new growers
“Working alongside a group of key industry advisors and innovative growers, AmericanHort developed a certification to ensure that the courses are relevant to growers needs,” says Meagan Nace, Senior Manager, Education Program Development for AmericanHort. “Because it was evaluated by growers from all over the country with diverse backgrounds, we are confident the Technician Certification is impactful for the learner and their employer. After completing the coursework, pilot testers expressed they were more confident in completing their daily job duties, which should correlate to higher performing employees.”
Hear from Those Who’ve Experienced It
Pilot program participants have shared testimonials:
- Olivia DiFilippo, Section Grower with North Creek Nurseries: “As a person without formal training in horticulture I learned a lot of things and can connect to my everyday job. I would think about what I heard during the courses while I was working in the greenhouse. I definitely think taking this course will help me do my job better.”
- Lee Nye, a grower from DS Cole Growers: “This program does a good job marrying book learning with hands on learning. As a supervisor, one of the benefits I see from putting a new hire through this program is it provides clear explanation of how to do things and I don’t have to take up the time of other growers with more experience while I explain things to a new team member.”
- Kyle Ferrantella, Head Grower at DeGroot Inc: “Without a doubt I recommend others take this program. It is a great refresher for those who have been in the industry, and a good baseline for those who are newer to the grower position. There is a lot of important information discussed in these courses.”
The AmericanHort Greenhouse Technician Certification is available online now. To learn more visit AmericanHort.org/GT, email AmericanHort at [email protected], or call 614-487-1117.