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image Garden center employees often need additional technical training to better serve their customers. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System launched the Certified Horticultural Retailer Training Program in summer to meet this need.

Fall classes in new locations across the state are now open for registration.

  • October 8—Lee County Extension Office, Opelika
  • November 7—Green Industry Training Center, Birmingham
  • December 5—North Alabama Agriplex, Cullman

Registration is $150. Complete registration details can be found online at

Participants will receive relevant Extension publications, a training certificate and badge and lawn displays upon program completion. They will also be linked to the CHR website that recognizes businesses that have successfully completed the training program. The trainees from the first CHR class can be seen at

The CHR program delivers business-specific training incorporating conventional and organic inputs for home garden and commercial fruit, vegetable, landscape, greenhouse and nursery industries.

Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, Commercial Horticulture team leader, says the Certified Horticultural Retailer Training Program is an intense, focused training.

“Qualified professionals provide basic and advanced horticultural training directly to employees working at home garden, landscape and retail centers,” he says.

Some training topics include the following:

  • Nutrient management
  • Pesticide stewardship
  • Conventional production systems
  • Organic cropping systems
  • Landscape horticulture
  • Fire ant management
CHR teacher class.jpg

Majumdar says the CHR program will prepare retailers and store managers to better serve their clientele. He adds that retail garden centers are a major part of the state’s horticulture industry. An economic impact study, released by Extension, showed that lawn and garden centers have a more than $1.67 billion dollar impact on Alabama’s economy. Customers regularly turn to these centers for information and advice so better trained staff benefits the business.

The detailed CHR brochure is available here. Call or email any one of these regional Extension agents for more information.


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