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Sustainable Greenhouse Production Diploma

Why Choose Sustainable Greenhouse Production Diploma at CLC?

Learn hands on how to grow plants traditionally and through both aquaponics and hydroponics in a state of the art greenhouse

Identify and care for cut flower, bedding, vegetable, herb, and house plants

Our Instructors have industry knowledge and a strong passion to help students succeed before and after graduation.

About the Program

Do you like the idea of spending time in a warm and sunny greenhouse? Do you have a love of plants, flowers and/or vegetables? Maybe you have a desire to grow your own delicious and healthful produce? Do you have an interest in hydroponics and/or aquaponics? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you should consider the greenhouse industry for your career!

For 40+ years Central Lakes College (CLC) has been training students to become professionals in greenhouse production. CLC students appreciate the hands-on instruction and practice they receive; planting and caring for plants in the greenhouse; learning pest management skills; being able to identify the many annuals and perennials; and participating in so many other activities connected with plants.

Program Information

Program Course Requirements

Fall Semester
HORT 1104  Plant Science (4 cr)
HORT 1106  Applied Plant Science Lab (2 cr)
HORT 1113  Annuals and Perennials (4 cr)
HORT 2112  Sustainable Greenhouse Production (5 cr)
HORT 1345  Internship  (0,2 cr)
Total 15-17 Credits

Spring Semester
HORT 1118  Indoor Flowering & Foliage Plants (4 cr)
HORT 1196  Sustainable Greenhouse Management (4 cr)
HORT 2116  Integrated Pest Management (4 cr)
HORT 1122  Local Food Production (3 cr)
HORT 1345  Internship (0,2 cr)
Total 15-17 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites

Career Description: Sustainable greenhouse production graduates help produce a variety of ornamental plants such as bedding plants, holiday plants (Easter Lilies, Poinsettias, etc.), and plants for special occasions. The greenhouse facilities range from small, family run operations to large commercial production greenhouses. The greenhouse industry is quickly becoming a high-tech industry with computers, robotics, and other exciting innovations. People who appreciate natural beauty, enjoy caring for plants and flowers, and have an attention for detail are particularly well suited for this career.

Program Information: Students enrolled in the one-year Sustainable Greenhouse Production Program will learn how to schedule, produce, and care for a wide variety of plants grown commercially in the Upper Midwest as well as how to properly construct and manage a greenhouse production facility. A state-of-the-art greenhouse and laboratory provide the opportunity to learn in real-life situations.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Identify and practice safe use of tools, equipment and supplies used in horticulture careers;
  • Identify regional and Minnesota plants by common name, genus and species;
  • Propagate, grow, and maintain plants in horticultural production systems;
  • Identify and prescribe sustainable options in horticulture which benefit the environment while maintaining productivity and economic viability;
  • Design greenhouse production structures and systems;
  • Apply effective communication and interpersonal skills with co-workers, supervisors, suppliers and customers.

Special Program Requirements:

Admissions: The Sustainable Greenhouse Production Program is offered as a full-time day program. Because of the sequencing of courses, it is best to begin this program Fall semester.

Transfer Opportunities: Many horticulture courses can be transferred to a variety of four-year colleges and universities. Because each college has its own requirements, always check with an advisor or counselor about transferability of specific courses to these other colleges.

Career Opportunities: Career opportunities include greenhouse production, plant propagation, greenhouse management and plant brokering.

Career Titles: This program will help students prepare for a wide range of careers, including greenhouse owner/manager, greenhouse foreman, propagator, pest control, coordinator, plant sales, plant and supply buyer, greenhouse supply, representative, and plant consultant.


marciMarci Hoard
My name is Marci Hoard and I teach Special Occasions/Wedding Design in which the students learn all the traditional wedding designs as well as new trends. We also learn party, event, and funeral flowers. When I am not teaching, I keep busy with my own wedding and events floral design studio. The Brainerd Lakes area has so many destination weddings and I am having a ball working with the wonderful brides that are getting married here.

jeffJeff Dirks
My name is Jeff Dirks and I am one of the horticulture instructors who teaches at Central Lakes College. I enjoy teaching in all areas of horticulture, but particularly enjoy the greenhouse labs that include new technologies such as growing food and ornamental plants using hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical walls and towers. I really enjoy living and teaching in the Brainerd Lakes area because of the great outdoor experiences available here. Some of my hobbies are fishing, hunting, and enjoying all kinds of water sports on any of the 465 lakes within 30 miles of town. And of course, it is a great pleasure to see so many of our students enjoy successful careers after graduating from Central Lakes College. Email Jeff for more information

theriTheri Wasniewski
My name is Theri Wasniewski, I am one of the horticulture instructors. I love plants, and enjoy teaching students how to tell them apart and figure out what kind of pests are present. Two of my favorite classes to teach are Plant Science and Integrated Pest Management. We go on many industry tours and look at plant from all angles The Brainerd Lakes area is a great place to live and go to school. There is more to do and explore in the area than there are days in a week. I like to hike, camp, cross country ski, garden and check out the native plant communities in our area. It would be great if every property (home and work) had a few apple trees and some herbs or vegetables; sustainable by design! Email Theri for more information

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

Gainful Employment – Sustainable Greenhouse Production Diploma