Agriculture Institute aims to grow success

Published 10:00 pm Friday, June 10, 2016

A new class at Isothermal Community College will help students plant the seeds to their future in the field of agriculture, officials said this week.

The Agriculture Institute is a new continuing education program for residents of Rutherford and Polk counties. The class will start on Mon., June 20, on the main campus in Spindale.

Mark Franklin, Isothermal’s director of customized training, said course work will feature topics that pertain to individuals interested in or already involved in the lawn care and landscape business. The institute will also appeal to anyone interested in improving their gardening skills for pleasure.

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The class starts on June 20 and continues through August 16. The instruction will be each week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  There will be no classes the week of July 4th.

“We are excited about providing this course offering to folks in our communities,” said Franklin. “Currently, our plans are to offer training opportunities for people interested in the ornamental crops and we hope to expand into local food production at a later date. At the end of this inaugural class, students will receive a certificate acknowledging their completion of the course work.”

The topics of instruction will include soils management, plant selection, plant pests (diseases, insects, weeds), lawn care, landscape management plus additional training in social media, marketing and customer relations.

The instructor for the horticulture courses will be John Vining, a retired North Carolina Agriculture Extension Agent, with 32 years of plant growing experience. The classes will be very practical with information about the local growing conditions and pests.

“John will bring a lot of plant knowledge to anyone interested in ornamental plants,” said Jeff Bradley, Extension Director for Rutherford County. “His knowledge of native plants and ornamentals used in landscapes in both counties is expansive. You won’t be disappointed in the material presented.”

For more information on course costs and how to register, contact Mark Franklin at 828-395-1677 or Financial assistance is available for students who qualify. The deadline to register is June 16.

– article submitted
by Mike Gavin