Production Horticulture Certificate Click here to request more info

Program Contacts

Instructional Specialist Karen Smith (928) 717-7760
Professor Justin Brereton (928) 717-7724
Associate Dean Karla Phillips (928) 717-7725
Dean John Morgan (928) 717-7721

Quick Facts

About the Production Horticulture Certificate

The Production Horticulture Certificate program  is designed to prepare students for potential careers in the horticulture and greenhouse industry including grower, nursery technician, integrated pest management, greenhouse management and entrepreneur. 

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Production Horticulture Certificate program, the learner will be able to:

1.       Establish a greenhouse-growing program with timelines for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. (AGS 250, AGS 252)

2.        Integrate an IPM system for insect control in greenhouses. (AGS 250, AGS 252)

3.       Determine appropriate greenhouse styles and geographical locations for specific crops in the industry. (AGS 250, AGS 252)

4.       Implement a production management schedule. (AGS 157, AGS 252)

5.       Develop a marketing plan for a specific crop. (AGS 157, AGS 252)

6.       Utilize technology in crop production, marketing, and sales. (AGS 101 or CSA 126, AGS 157, AGS 250, AGS 252)

7.       Control a greenhouse environment through computer and mechanical means. (AGS 250, AGS 252)

8.       Manage a crew of greenhouse laborers. (AGS 157, AGS 250, AGS 252)

9.       Grow a hydroponics and flower crop of high economic value. (AGS 250, AGS 252)

10.    Utilize principles and operative skills in agricultural equipment and small engine maintenance. (AGS 215)


Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
AGS103 Plant Biology

AGS 103. Plant Biology (4). An introduction to the growth, development, reproduction, and structure of vascular plants. Fundamental activities of plants including photosynthesis and respiration. Emphasis on agricultural and horticultural crops of Arizona. This course is cross-listed with BIO 103. Prerequisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Classification of plants
2. Cell structures of plants
3. Cellular activity of plants
4. Chemical activity of plants
5. Mitosis and Meiosis
6. Plant tissues
7. Vegetative components
8. Plant growth improvement
9. Plant propagation
10. Plant growth environments
11. Economic and ecological importance
12. The scientific method

1. Use scientific reasoning to evaluate physical and natural phenomena. (2-5, 7, 8, 10, 12) (PBS 3)
2. Identify the unifying themes of the scientific field of study. (2-5, 7, 8, 10, 12)
3. Interpret the numerical and/or graphical presentation of scientific data. (12) (PBS 1)
4. Use the tools and equipment necessary for basic scientific analysis and research. (9, 12)
5. Record the results of investigation through writing. (3, 4, 10, 12) (PBS 2)
6. Discuss the role of plants in the living world. (10)
7. Classify and name plants (1)
8. Compare monocots and dicots. (1, 7, 9)
9. Describe the plant cell structure. (2)
10. Describe cellular activity during meiosis. (3)
11. Explain the process and implications of mitosis and meiosis. (5)
12. Differentiate between various plant tissues. (6)
13. Identify the components of roots, stems, flowers, and leaves. (7)
14. Describe the origin and domestication of cultivated plants. (8)
15. Identify basic concepts in plant improvement. (8)
16. Distinguish between effective and ineffective plant propagation methods for specific plants. (9)
17. Summarize vegetative and reproductive growth and development principles. (7, 10, 12)
18. Identify the properties of photosynthesis, respiration, and translocation in vascular plants. (4)
19. Identify the physical and chemical properties of soil and soil water. (10)
20. Discuss the climactic factors affecting plant growth. (10)
21. Identify major economic crops in Arizona. (11)

AGS105 Soils

AGS 105. Soils (3) (Fall). Comprehensive overview of the types of soils commonly found in North America with special emphasis on Southwestern soils. Course investigates the origin, formation, physical and chemical properties of soils and emphasizes soil testing, fertilization, and modifications to soils commonly found in landscapes, gardens and turf. Three lecture.

1. Components of soil
2. Soil and water relationships
3. Soil textural triangle
4. Modifications to soil for improvement
5. Drainage systems
6. Soil fertility
7. Soil pH
8. Soil testing
9. Cost factors
10. Southwestern soils

1. Describe the components of soil including sand, silt, and clay. (1)
2. Explain the relationship between soil and water. (2)
3. Using the soil textural triangle, determine the structure of soil and its effect on turfgrass. (3)
4. Identify components of a soil profile. (3)
5. Identify macro- and micro-nutrients needed for plant growth. (4)
6. Identify common soil amendments used to improve soil. (4)
7. Describe drainage systems used to remove excess water from soil. (5)
8. Describe the principles associated with soil fertility. (6)
9. Explain pH of soil and the methods used to modify pH. (7)
10. Using soil test kits, test soils for basic composition. (8)
11. Identify agencies to assist in soils testing. (8)
12. Calculate soil test results for nitrogen, phosphorus, iron and potassium. (8)
13. Describe soils common to the Southwest. (10)

AGS107 Entomology

AGS 107. Entomology (3) (Spring). Fundamental approaches in the control of greenhouse pests. Categories of pests, management practices, herbicide use, alternative pest control techniques, safety, and integrated pest management. Three lecture.

1. Insects and related pests
2. Pest Identification and Classification
3. Economic Damage
4. Control Methodologies
5. Integrated Pest Management
6. Safety Practices

1. Investigate the relationships between insects and people. (1)
2. Identify insects of economic importance. (3)
3. Describe the basic external morphology of insects and how it is used in classification. (1,2)
4. Describe the basic internal anatomy of insects. (1)
5. Describe the objectives and elements of insect classification. (2)
6. Classify insects by visual inspection. (1,2)
7. Identify unknown insects by use of standard taxonomic keys. (2)
8. Identify insects to Order by inspection, and identify common forms to Family. (1,2)
9. Describe the life cycles of important insect groups. (1)
10. Identify agents of biological control. (4,5)
11. Identify insecticide names and formulations. (1,2,5)
12. Explain the concepts involved in insect pest management. (5,6)
13. Discuss alternative pest control techniques. (4,5,6)
14. Formulate an integrated pest management plan to control insects. (5)

AGS157 Community Supported Agric

AGS 157. Community Supported Agriculture (3) (Fall). Production methods for scheduling crops for available space, seasonality, and customer need. Creation and implementation of plans for distribution and marketing sustainable, organic, and pesticide-free agriculture products. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Marketable crop identification
2. Facility benefits and limitations
3. Production scheduling
4. Harvest
5. Storage
6. Marketing
7. Pricing
8. Distribution
9. Packaging
10. Profit and loss
11. Growing methods

1. Formulate a growing, producing, marketing and distribution plan based on the resources available. (1-7)
2. Determine crops that have potential for sale in the region. (1,3,4,6)
3. Choose the best production system for a chosen crop promoting organic, pesticide-free, and sustainable crops. (11)
4. Experiment with different products, price, packaging and seasonality to break norms of conventional agriculture. (1, 3, 5-7)
5. Recommend production techniques to improve quality and marketability of agricultural products. (4)
6. Set prices on items as determined by industry. (5)
7. Track and report production goals. (3)
8. Track labor, supplies and facility costs. (10)
9. Develop a profit and loss statement for the season. (7, 10)
10. Amend production plans to meet the changing need of customer base. (3,4)
11. Classify crops by warm season or cool season. (1)
12. Utilize and develop unique packaging materials for ready-for-market products. (7)
13. Critique, customize and recommend growing methods for the production classes. (9)
14. Harvest crops at optimum times to ensure freshness and flavor. (4)
15. Store products to extend the distribution potential without reducing quality. (5)
16. Analyze and reflect on the seasonís production and make recommendations for the next. (2-11)

AGS215 Agricultural Mechanics

AGS 215. Agricultural Mechanics (3) (Spring). Principles and operative skills in agriscience technology, including troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair of common agriculture tools and equipment. Emphasis on mig welding, electricity, concrete and mortar, pumps, engines and motors, and basic construction practicing OSHA safety standards. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Mig welding and cutting torch operation
2. Tools and power tools
3. Construction fencing, concrete, forms, and mortar
4. Electrical wiring and fuses
5. Pump operation, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair
6. Small engine and equipment operation, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair
7. Safety standards

1. Produce durable mig welds when given specifications and raw materials. (1)
2. Utilize a cutting torch for project completion. (1)
3. Choose the best hand and/or power tool for the required task and support the decision. (2)
4. Operate hand tools and power tools safely and with proper care. (2,7)
5. Measure, lay out and create wooden forms for concrete construction applications. (3)
6. Identify concrete components and determine slump for various concrete applications. (3)
7. Plan, estimate and lay block and brick. (3)
8. Design, estimate, calculate materials and construct fencing projects. (3)
9. Wire sprinklers, timers and valves utilizing the proper gauged wire. (4)
10. Complete basic wiring of a light and test for functionality. (4)
11. Identify and replace fuses as needed in agricultural settings. (4)
12. Troubleshoot, disassemble, reassemble and repair pumps in agricultural settings. (5)
13. Diagnose and perform routine maintenance on agricultural equipment, including oil, filters, fuel, batteries and belts. (6)
14. Safely operate agriculture equipment, such as tractors, ATV's, mowers, tillers and sprayers. (6,7)

AGS250 Horticulture Science I

AGS 250. Horticulture Science I (4) (Fall). Greenhouse production activities including cuttings, seedlings, sowing, tagging, fertilizers, sanitation, nutrition, and elements of container grown crops. Emphasis on production of tomatoes, lettuce, flowers, foliage plants, and bedding plants. Operation of industry standard computer control systems for greenhouses. Emphasis on the ARGUS system for environmental control, watering, fertilization, and shipping. Two lecture. Six lab.

1. Fertilizers
2. Water
3. Sexual propagation
4. Asexual propagation
5. Container grown crops
6. Sanitation practices
7. Computer applications
8. The Micro-Grow system
9. Programming for vents, shade, humidity, light, cooling, heating, fertilizers, watering, shipping
10. Suppliers

1. Operate a potting machine. (5)
2. Tag plants. (5)
3. Apply computer applications to operated and program a sowing machine. (5,7)
4. Apply computer applications to operate and program a spray boom or chemicals and for application. (6,7)
5. Adjust a spray boom or speed and volume. (6)
6. Adjust a computer for environmental control of a specific crop. (7,8)
7. Observe crop for physiological changes. (1,2,6)
8. Mix and apply fertilizers. (9)
9. Test soil for pH. (9)
10. Test water for alkalinity. (2,9)
11. Operate and program a transplanter. (4)
12. Propagate poinsettia plants asexually. (4)
13. Identify containers used for plants. (5)
14. Identify machinery used in greenhouses. (3,4,7,8)
15. Practice appropriate sanitation techniques. (6)
16. Identify the correct environments for plant propagation both sexually and asexually. (4)
17. Adjust light, temperature, and moisture requirements for plants. (9)
18. Identify biocontrol suppliers. (10)
19. Prepare a hydrating solution. (2)
20. Identify venting, shade, cooling, hardening and humidity requirements for plants and program the computer with those requirements. (9)
21. Identify light, cooling and hardening, heating needs, fertilizer needs, and watering need requirements for plants and program the computer with those requirements. (9)
22. Program for shipping. (9)

AGS252 Horticulture Science II

AGS 252. Horticulture Science II (4) (Spring). Activities conducted in commercial greenhouses including propagation, sowing, distribution, light and temperature management, hardening off, preharvest and post harvest handling, inventory, deliveries, and sanitation. Emphasis on final stages of production and care of production. Computerized scheduling of greenhouse operations. Two lecture. Six lab.

1. Advanced propagation
2. Inventories
3. Shipping scheduling
4. Supply ordering
5. Transplanting, potting, and repotting, clay pots, plastic pots
6. Market preparation
7. Cultural disorders
8. Insect scouting
9. Micropropagation
10. Fertilization
11. Computerized environmental control (Micro-Grow system)
12. Production scheduling
13. 98% capacity scheduling
14. Germination chamber scheduling
15. Indoor/outdoor scheduling
16. Restocking

1. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of clay pots and plastic pots. (5)
2. Select appropriate methods for potting plants. (1,5)
3. Recommend fertilization for mature plants. (10)
4. Control growth, disease and insects. (7-9)
5. Identify factors affecting stretch. (7,10,11)
6. Identify common foliage and bedding plants by scientific and common name. (1)
7. Explain cultural methods for high quality tomatoes, bedding plants, and lettuce. (7-11,14,15)
8. Identify mass-market outlets. (2,6,15,16)
9. Prepare plants for market. (4,6,9,12,13)
10. Package tomatoes by size. (6)
11. Package lettuce for shipping. (3,6)
12. Price tomatoes by lug or flat. (6)
13. Coordinate truck routes for efficiency. (6)
14. Predict space availability in a greenhouse for short and long term production. (1,12)
15. Ensure a 98% greenhouse fill rate. (13)
16. Identify a greenhouse's carrying capacity. (13)
17. Calculate square footage of a greenhouse. (12,13)
18. Maintain control of inventory. (2,16)
19. Establish shipping and germination times. (2,14)
20. Restock inventories in accordance with market demand. (16)
21. Determine ongoing space availability for hardening off and for outside operations. (13)
22. Utilize the Micro-Grow system. (11)

AGS274 Water Management

AGS 274. Water Management (3) (Spring). Irrigation techniques for golf courses, greenhouses, aquaculture, and horse production including sizing pipes and fittings, backflow prevention, filtration, pumps, sprinklers, spraybooms, misters, and valves. Includes code requirements, blueprint reading, and bidding. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Pipe types and sizes
2. Fittings
3. Valves
4. Pumps
5. Drain tiles
6. Filters
7. Backflow prevention
8. Blueprint reading
9. Irrigation design
10. Code requirements
11. Recirculation

1. Identify types and sizes of pipe used in irrigation systems.
2. Select the most appropriate pipe for a given circuit.
3. Demonstrate the use of tools commonly used in plumbing.
4. Identify the valve boxes used for manifold systems.
5. Identify the most commonly used fittings for connecting pipe.
6. Select the appropriate fitting for a given connection.
7. Explain the different uses for gate, globe and ball valves.
8. List the advantages and disadvantages of the three most common valves.
9. Determine correct positioning for drain tiles.
10. Select the most appropriate backflow prevention device for a given circuit.
11. Distinguish between in-line manual and automatic valves.
12. Distinguish between manual and automatic pressure vacuum breakers.
13. Determine appropriate sprinkler spacing.
14. Explain the difference between static and working pressure.
15. Determine local codes for commercial irrigation.
16. Solve for pressure drop over a given run.
17. Design greenhouse irrigation and fertilization system.
18. Design aquaculture systems.
19. Design horse watering systems.
20. Design golf course systems.
21. Troubleshoot sprayboom nozzles.
22. Determine circuits, valves, draintiles, and sprinklers for a given par three hole.
23. Calculate costs for irrigation of a par three hole.

1. Irrigation design for par three hole or greenhouse.

Select 3 credit hours from the following courses:
AGS101 Microcomputers in Agriculture

AGS 101. Microcomputers in Agriculture (3) (Fall). Use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for documentation, accounting and presentations in the agriculture industry. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Contemporary computer use in the agriculture industry
2. Computer hardware
3. Using Microsoft Word in an agricultural setting
4. Using Excel in an agricultural setting
5. Using PowerPoint in an agricultural setting

1. Use and understand email.
2. Use and understand Windows 98.
3. Manage Files.
4. Use Internet Explorer.
5. Use the Internet.
6. Create a document.
7. Use and understand Microsoft Word.
8. Edit a document.
9. Format a document.
10. Create a report.
11. Use and understand Desktop Publishing.
12. Create outlines.
13. Create tables.
14. Create a table of contents.
15. Merge documents.
16. Create equations.
17. Use and understand Microsoft Excel.
18. Create worksheets.
19. Format worksheets.
20. Create charts.
21. Manage information.
22. Use and understand Microsoft Power Point.
23. Create a presentation.
24. Create and import graphics in slides.
25. Use and understand Microsoft Access.
26. Create a database.
27. Maintain a database.
28. Query a database.
29. Use and understand integration.
30. Integrate documents.
31. Use and understand web page design.
32. Create a web page.
33. Load web page onto Internet.

1. Compilation of portfolio in 1" notebook with cover sheet.

OR CSA126 Microsoft Office

CSA 126. Microsoft Office (3). Introductory concepts and techniques of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. Three lecture.

1. Windows concepts and skills
2. Microsoft Word for Windows
3. Microsoft Excel for Windows
4. Microsoft Access for Windows
5. Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows
6. Integration of Microsoft Office applications

1. Use file management and other basic Windows skills. (1)
2. Produce and edit word processing documents. (2)
3. Produce and edit spreadsheets and charts. (3)
4. Create a database, enter and manipulate data, create queries and reports. (4)
5. Produce and edit presentation graphics documents. (5)
6. Produce a document that integrates the use of two or more Office applications. (6)

AGS102 Agribusiness Management

AGS 102. Agribusiness Management (3). Introduction to the latest functions of agribusiness including history, starting and running a business, small business plans, input and output sectors, daily financial operations, and basic economic principles. Emphasizes principles of agricultural economics, and economic activity and analysis. Three lecture.

1. Agriculture and agribusiness
2. Size and importance of agribusiness
3. Emerging agribusiness technologies
4. Planning and organizing an agribusiness
5. Types of agribusiness
6. Personal financial management
7. Agribusiness record keeping and accounting
8. Input sector
9. Output sector
10. Agricultural economics

1. Explain agribusiness.
2. Discuss the size and importance of production agriculture.
3. Analyze the efficiency of production agriculture.
4. Explain the importance of agribusiness and foreign trade.
5. Describe the latest emerging technologies in agriculture.
6. Prepare a small business plan.
7. Compare proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.
8. Plan and prepare a personal budget.
9. Analyze a potential agribusiness venture.
10. Explain the differences between sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations.
11. Describe the characteristics of franchises and cooperatives.
12. Complete a budget for a small agribusiness.
13. Complete a journal and ledger.
14. Complete a trial balance.
15. Explain basic accounting considerations.
16. Describe the single and double entry bookkeeping.
17. Prepare an income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flow.
18. Prepare a statement of owner equity.
19. Discuss the size and scope of the agribusiness input sector.
20. Discuss the private agribusiness sector.
21. Discuss the public agribusiness sector.
22. Identify the sources for credit.
23. Explain six types of economic systems.
24. Explain agricultural economics.


Note:  It is always best to discuss educational and career goals with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in any courses.  Learn more about Academic Advising.