New 24/7 service provides certification at producer’s convenience


Good nursery practices
Online training to be certified as a Tennessee Master Nursery Producer is now available. Photo by A. Windham, UTIA.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee Extension is now providing online training for nursery operators and their employees who wish to become certified as a Tennessee Master Nursery Producer (TMNP).

A committee composed of scientists and nursery specialists from the UT Institute of Agriculture, Tennessee State University and USDA developed the novel program, which is unlike any nursery training offered in the U.S. The online training is based on a live version of the
Tennessee Master Nursery Producer class, and nursery crop producers who completed the live program have reported saving an average of more than $4,200 in business expenses in the year following course graduation.

The online training modules cover container and field production, fertilization, irrigation, pest management and many more topics. “Now the same information available in the live course can be ‘at your fingertips, at your convenience,’ in the online version,” said Amy Fulcher, an assistant professor of s
ustainable ornamental plant production in the UT Department of Plant Sciences. “The online training presents numerous opportunities to enhance efficiencies, increase savings, and explore effective marketing strategies regardless of the size or type of your nursery,” she said.

Fulcher was among the leaders of the curriculum development effort and is the instructor for this online program. She will walk participants through all the pertinent information for nursery crop production. Additional contributors to the online modules were UT Extension’s Chris Marble, TMNP program committee members from UT, TSU and USDA as well as recognized experts from across the nation.

You can enroll in the training the UT Extension Online Learning (extOL) web site:
https://extol.tennessee.edu/people/. The fee for this program is $125.  If you have questions about subject matter content, please contact Fulcher at the UT Department of Plant Sciences (afulcher@utk.edu or by phone 865-974-7152).

"Approved Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program FY13-14 horticulture applicants must complete the Tennessee Master Nursery Program in order to receive 50 percent cost share. Since certification can take time, UT and TAEP urge producers to sign up for this program as soon as possible,” said Erica Alexander with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “Reimbursements for all approved TAEP FY13-14 projects must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2014, to be eligible for reimbursement. If you have not received your certification by the reimbursement deadline, indicate on your reimbursement paperwork that you have attended the program and when you expect to receive your certificate. Your reimbursement will not be processed for 50 percent cost share until the certificate has been received and verified.”


If you have questions about TAEP, including applying for future TAEP funding, or are a current TAEP participant with questions about fulfilling your certification obligations for reimbursement, contact Alexander at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5344 or by email to Producer.Diversification@tn.gov."


Fulcher says live versions of the TMNP training are not scheduled for 2014.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.


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Contact:

Dr. Amy Fulcher, UT Department of Plant Sciences, 865-974-7152,
afulcher@utk.edu