U of M Crookston Junior Kristine Neu Receives Nursery and Landscape Certification
University of Minnesota, Crookston Junior Kristine Marie Neu, Pelican Rapids, Minn., recently fulfilled the necessary qualifications to be awarded the designation of "Certified Professional (CP) with an emphasis in Garden Center" by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA).
To be granted certification status, Neu had to pass a comprehensive examination administered by the MNLA and the University of Minnesota. All recipients of the certification status must also accumulate a minimum of 2,000 hours in horticulture-related employment, or two years in an educational program that includes a structured internship. The certification exam consists of plant identification, landscape planning, sales and marketing procedures, general knowledge of horticulture, and practical application skills. The exam was developed through the efforts of faculty members from the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota and members of the MNLA Certification Committee.
Since the program's inception in 1978, nearly 770 individuals have achieved the status of MNLA Certified Professional. The test is designed to measure the skills of practicing professionals and to improve the quality and standards of the nursery and landscape industry. As a continuing education requirement, Neu must earn recertification points every three years to maintain the MNLA Certified Professional status.
"Experienced nursery and greenhouse growers, landscape designers and contractors, and garden center owners know that education and training are essential to becoming competent in their professions," says Tim Power, former MNLA president and co-owner of Law's Nursery Inc. in Hastings.
"This certification process provides our member businesses with employees of the highest quality, and, more importantly, ensures that our customers receive the best knowledge and experience available in the nursery and landscape industry."
The Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association is a statewide trade association with over 1,500 members. Association members include nurseries, garden centers, landscape designers, landscape contractors, irrigation contractors, professional gardening services, tree care specialists, commercial flower growers, and turf and landscape management professionals from throughout Minnesotaand neighboring states. MNLA represents and provides service to its member businesses through educational programs, conventions and trade shows, marketing activities and public policy initiatives.
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
Photo above: Kristine Neu holds one of the poinsettias raised in the commercial floriculture class at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.