The University of Florida’s (UF) Greenhouse Training Online courses, including the upcoming Disease Management course, have received a boost with an education grant from the American Floral Endowment (AFE). The four-week courses in English and Spanish are designed for growers or technical managers in the U.S. and other countries, and have been completed by more than 1,000 growers.
The education grant from AFE will help cover the cost of translating course materials into Spanish. This commitment to diversity training is critical, as even though approximately 80% of agricultural workers in the U.S. are of Hispanic origin and are Spanish-speaking, there is a lack of Spanish language resources.
Lack of trained staff is recognized by growers as one of the biggest issues they face. Training is an investment by businesses in their employees who are already performing well, have proven their work ethic, and simply need opportunities to advance their growing careers. The AFE grant will also help measure the return on this investment, where UF instructors will quantify the impacts of learning in terms of knowledge, behavior, and economic value.
The next course offered on October 1 is Disease Management, taught by Dr. Carrie Harmon. After completing this course, attendees will be able to:
• Prevent diseases by learning how diseases develop and spread
• Learn how to differentiate between disease and other issues
• Understand basic organic and conventional management options for greenhouse and nursery situations
• Safely apply and handle fungicides and understand rules and regulations
The course runs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 26, 2018. Over four weeks, there will be streaming video lessons, readings, and assignments (about two to three hours total commitment per week), which can be accessed at any time of day.
Another Upcoming Course
Irrigation Water Quality & Treatment takes place Nov. 5 to Dec. 7. This is an advanced level course that helps interpret water quality tests for irrigation of greenhouse and nursery crops, select appropriate water treatment technologies, and design a water treatment and monitoring system.