To meet the growing consumer demand for small-scale, local farming that involves a personalized, direct contact with customers, the Chattahoochee Technical College Horticulture program will launch a Sustainable Urban Agriculture certificate at the start of the 2018 spring semester, which begins Jan. 8.
This new certificate program will prepare students to work successfully in sustainable, small-scale food production that integrates economic profitability and environmental stewardship. Courses will provide hands-on experience in the fundamentals of plant production and marketing in order to give the students a complete knowledge of the sustainable farmers market system.
“With farmers markets opening up all over the state and with the increasing demand for organic food production, small-scale food production is the fastest growing segment of agriculture,” said John Hatfield, an instructor in the Chattahoochee Tech Horticulture program. “This new program will prepare students to work successfully in that market niche.”
Professionals with a certificate in Sustainable Urban Agriculture are experts in producing crops on relatively small properties. These properties are located locally and often in urban settings, taking advantage of sites previously considered blighted. The crops produced on these properties are most often marketed directly to consumers from the property or through locally established farmers markets.
The Chattahoochee Tech Horticulture program facilities are located at the North Metro Campus in Acworth and feature more than 3.5 acres of lab space grounds and commercial equipment along with more than 2,000 square feet of heated greenhouse space. Chattahoochee Tech faculty with real-world industry experience teach students in this nationally accredited program through a combination of theory and hands-on skill development.