Corso’s Perennials in Castalia, OH, doesn’t want to just bring in interns to perform menial tasks around the greenhouse. According to General Manager Tanner Cole, the goal at Corso’s is to prepare their interns for long careers in the horticulture industry.
Cole says a large part of the company’s internship program involves practical growing training in a wholesale production greenhouse, with a focus on variety trials.
“We want them to understand the decision-making behind our variety choices, from the breeding pipeline through the greenhouse, all the way to the garden center,” Cole says.
The interns, who came from seven different countries in 2019, are responsible for irrigation, fertility management, pest management, and plant evaluation, which includes a rating system and weekly photography to document plants as the season progresses.
“They also work closely with our growing staff to give them hands-on experience in commercial production,” Cole says.
Because the visa program that Corso’s Perennials uses to recruit interns is based on a lottery system that receives several times more applications than there are spots available, it’s hard for the company to bring back interns year to year. However, Cole says that several past interns are currently pursuing their master’s degrees, while others have started their careers in the horticulture industry of their homeland.