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Horticulturist

 

Overview:

A Horticulturist is responsible for increasing yield, improving vigor, size, and taste of plants. They also coordinate research programs for selective crops. Horticulturists must have extensive knowledge about trees, flowers, vegetables, nuts, bushes, and fruits.

 

 

What responsibilities will I have?

  • Oversee the production and  care of plants, fruits and vegetables
  • Manage crop scheduling for timing of appropriate planting and harvesting
  • Perform propagation, irrigation, and pest management of plants
  • Control plant growth regulation through mixing and testing fertilizers, and monitor injectors in greenhouses
  • Responsible for greenhouse environment management and maintenance of plant material in assigned greenhouses
  • Direct labor in the functions of crop management
  • Operate equipment such as vans, tractors and sprayers
  • Oversee seasonal staff and production labor

 

What education and training is required?

Post-Secondary education is beneficial but not required.  An associate’s degree or equivalent or six months to one year related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.  Certifications such as a Pesticide Applicator’s License are typically preferred.

 

To pursue a career as a Horticulturist:

The following high school courses are recommended to prepare for a diploma program:a focus on science (particularly biology/chemistry/botany), mathematics, and computer science are also recommended.

 

Typical Employers:

Employed by plant and food production businesses, research firms, homeowners, and municipalities.

 

Future Job Market/Outlook:

With increased experience and education individuals may be able to advance to higher level management positions or as grower.  If working in a laboratory setting advancement may lead to becoming a researcher or lab foreman.

 

Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations:

  • Soil Science Society of America
  • National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • Committee for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • Weed Science Society of America
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • National Farmers Organization

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