US (NJ): AmHydro introduces Intro to Hydroponic Crop Production seminar

AmHydro is very excited to introduce and educate more people on the techniques of growing hydroponically specifically with NFT. That’s why they invite you to join their new Intro to Hydroponic Crop Production seminar. 

They have a great lineup of speakers (speaker bios are below) who each bring to the seminar a vast amount of knowledge growing with many different NFT and other hydroponic growing systems. Regardless of what system you currently use or are planning to use, this seminar is for you!

This seminar will take place at Garden State Urban Farms in South Orange, NJ. GSUF is located in the Branch Brook Park in spectacular greenhouses. This is a working farm and you as an attendee will be able to not only see the day to day operations of the farm but be able to participate in the harvest, seeding and transplanting.

What you will learn at this seminar …
  • Hydroponic Industry Overview
  • Basics of Hydroponic Growing
  • Controlled Environment Agriculture
  • Pest & Disease Control
  • Crop Selection and Production Scheduling
  • Designing a Growing System (what to know you need)
  • Establishing a Hydroponic Business
  • Marketing and Selling Your Product
  • What Other Revenue Streams and Opportunities are out there for hydroponic Growers
  • Hands-on greenhouse experience for Harvesting, Seeding, Transplanting 
There will be plenty of time for conversations and questions. Speakers will be available to talk with before and after their talks. 

Seminar attendees will be able to participate in three roundtable conference calls – 1x per month with an industry expert and a one hour conference call each month for the three months after the seminar. This is an opportunity to bring your real life questions to the experts and get answers to your specific questions or issues.
For more information, call 888.978.0963888.978.0963 or email:

Click on the link below to register online or call 888.978.0963888.978.0963 or go to

Recommended hotel: 
Hilton Newark Penn Station (hotel fact sheet attached)
T: 1.973.622.50001.973.622.5000
Special room rate: $149 per night (plus applicable taxes)
Offers complementary shuttle to/from Newark Liberty International Airport

Recommended airport:
Newark Liberty International Airport (airport code EWR)

With the excellent public transportation in this area, we recommend attendees do not rent a car and instead use the transit system and other forms of public transportation.

Speaker Bios

Michael Christian
In 1984 Michael co-founded American Hydroponics after discovering a need to develop a reliable soilless system in the hydroponic marketplace. The company soon introduced products and technologies that set the standards for years to come. Michael traveled to Australia and New Zealand to learn about the Nutrient Film Technique of soilless growing for large-scale commercial applications. Grenville Stocker, one of New Zealand’s top agricultural chemists/horticulturists, taught Michael even more about the science of growing. Michael is one of the key players that brought NFT to North America, thus establishing it as one of the foremost techniques-of-choice in the commercial hydroponic industry.
Michael is passionate about sharing his knowledge and promoting hydroponic technology. He has written articles for numerous trade journals, including: Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses, Growing Edge, Urban Garden, among others. In 2004, Michael was awarded the prestigious Green Entrepreneur of the Year Award from then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; recognizing his significant contributions to the industry and their positive effects on our ecology.

Lorraine Gibbons
Lorraine Gibbons is co-and CEO of Garden State Urban Farms, a for-profit food system trainer/consultant in Northern New Jersey. Through GSUF, Lorraine developed employment, training and educational opportunities for traditionally difficult-to-employ populations including developmentally disabled adults, college students, ex-offenders and at-risk adolescents. GSUF’s clients include Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Arthur & Friends Greenhouse Project, Jersey City Development of Health and Human Services, Garfield Department of Public Health and the YMCA among many others. Prior to founding GSUF, Lorraine created the area’s first sustainable demonstration garden program at a public elementary school Through previous educational consulting work, Lorraine developed an innovative, comprehensive arts-based after school program for at-risk youth and their families funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. In her previous career, Lorraine worked as a commodities trader for Goldman Sachs and Oppenheimer & Co. in London, Chicago, and New York.

Joe Swartz
Joe is a master hydroponic farmer with over 50,000 hours of actual greenhouse production time. A year round grower for 30 years and a consultant to the hydroponics industry for over 17 years, his specialties include system design, high-end crop production, biological pest control, system troubleshooting, greenhouse business management, specialty produce marketing, and food safety protocols. He has consulted for companies, growers, and investors across the globe and now serves as the Vice President of Commercial Sales and Technical Support for American Hydroponics.

James W. Livengood
James Livengood is Co-Founder & Director of Production at Radicle Farm Company since January 2014. Prior to co-founding Radicle, James worked as a Commercial Operations Manager at Garden State Urban Farms, serving as Greenhouse Manager and trainer at the Urban Farm @ Branch Brook Park. James was instrumental in the design and implementation of GSUF’s hydroponic training curriculum at the Urban Farm, training interns in both the greenhouse and classroom setting, while overseeing the production and distribution of more than 25 tons of produce in more than 15,000 sq ft of greenhouse space throughout Northern New Jersey. James has designed and built more than 10,000 sq ft of diverse, high-capacity hydroponic and sub-irrigation grow systems, and managed the remediation of more than 6,000 sq ft of greenhouse space. Prior to joining GSUF, James worked in grant writing and project development for various not-for-profits, including Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. 

Sarah Swartz 
Sarah has spent the past 20 years involved in hydroponic farming. She is the current operator of Swartz Family Farm in Amherst, MA, which is the longest running year round hydroponic farm in New England. While possessing a wide range of hydroponic business skills, her specialties are sales, produce marketing, and customer relations. She is responsible for developing several innovative sales and promotional marketing programs with both international and regional grocery retailers as well as unique direct farm to consumer initiatives. She is also currently directing a grower training-internship program in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts. 

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