New Green Industries Institute Involves NFCC, FAMU And UF

Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Sam Hand executivedirector@greenindustr, (850) 997-4088
George Hochmuth, (850) 875-7100
Mike Martin, (352) 392-1771

MONTICELLO, Fla.—The Green Industries Institute, a new environmental horticulture educational program that includes North Florida Community College, Florida A&M University and the University of Florida, will train professionals for the state’s rapidly growing nursery and landscape industries.

Housed in facilities at Monticello formerly used by UF’s North Florida Research and Education Center, the institute will offer courses for college degrees, industry certification and licensing, said Sam Hand, executive director of the institute.

“The program will pool the resources of the three educational entities with the support of various ‘green industries’ in Florida,” Hand said. “Areas of instruction will include landscape design and management, nursery operations, floriculture, urban forestry and arboriculture and other green industry programs.”

George Hochmuth, director of the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, said the Green Industries Institute began offering courses in January 2002 when UF faculty were transferred from Monticello to new facilities in Quincy.

“The Monticello facility, which continues to be part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, was established in 1927,” Hochmuth said. “When we consolidated our programs at Quincy, reducing the number of North Florida Research and Education Centers to three from five, there was an opportunity to use the Monticello center for the new Green Industries Institute.”

He said the institute was established by a memorandum of understanding between UF, FAMU, NFCC and Florida’s nursery and landscape industry. UF currently owns the facility and will participate in the teaching program; NFCC will serve as the administrative and fiscal agent for the institute; and FAMU will assist with instruction. U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla. District 2, obtained federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help establish the new institute, and special state allocations also were made.

Mike Martin, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources, thanked Boyd for his support. “This is a great new way of doing business, and we owe a debt of gratitude to leaders such as Allen Boyd who helped make this happen and continue to support it at the federal level.”

Representatives from educational institutions and the nursery and landscape industries serve on the advisory board of the Green Industries Institute. Major support is also provided by members and employees of state and local organizations such as the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association, the Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Florida Division of Parks and Recreation as well as retail nurseries, landscape design and building companies, utility companies, local municipalities and counties.

Hand, who directs the institute for NFCC, said the institute will be fully operational by fall 2002. Support from the industry continues to increase because there is a strong need for qualified professionals. Job opportunities in the state’s landscape and horticulture industry, which had sales amounting to $9.9 billion last year, are plentiful. In 2000, the industry employed more than 188,000 people statewide.

“Students who want an associate of science (AS) degree will be able to take most of their courses at the Monticello center, and the degree will be awarded by NFCC,” Hand said.

“When we implement articulated programs for bachelor’s degrees with UF and FAMU, our partnering senior universities, students will be able to complete their bachelor’s degrees by taking courses for two years at a community college and finish the last two years on-site at Monticello. The bachelor of science (BS) degree will be awarded by the appropriate senior institution. On-line courses will also be available as the institute continues to develop,” he said.

Hand said those who complete degrees and/or industry certification command higher starting salaries because they are able to assume management positions or begin their own businesses. “The Green Industries Institute is a unique opportunity for students to achieve educational objectives and successfully enter the industry at various levels,” he said.

For more information, contact the Green Industries Institute at (850) 997-4088 or visit their Website:



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Posted: May 13, 2002

Category: UF/IFAS

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