South African grower first recipient of Plant Health Professional certificate

Shaun Biggs of South Africa transplant nursery Sutherland Seedlings and owner of Ellepot South Africa, is the first recipient of the Plant Health Professional certificate of completion from the University of Florida IFAS Extension (UF) and Michigan State University (MSU). Shaun was presented the certificate by Dr. Paul Fisher from UF, along with certificates for staff members Nomvume Sandi and James Potgieter, who recently completed online courses with UF.

Caption: Shaun Biggs, Paul Fisher (the University of Florida IFAS Extension), Nomvume Sandi, and James Potgeiter at Sutherland Seedlings Nursery in East London, South Africa.

To earn the certificate, growers need to complete five of the six plant health courses offered by UF and MSU on abiotic disorders, biocontrols, diseases, nutrients, water treatment, and weeds. The award-winning courses are consistently rated highly by growers, with 760 participants and 85% course completion.

Shaun commented that “These online courses are practical and grower-oriented. They have been really helpful in upskilling our team at Sutherland Seedlings. Training is a great investment to help staff make more informed decisions and improve retention and motivation.”

The classes are designed for greenhouses, nurseries, and controlled environment horticulture growers. Courses run for four weeks, are in English and Spanish, can be accessed at any time of day, and encourage discussion with the university's expert instructors.

For more information:
The University of Florida 

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