Two Day Grower Workshop

CropKing Introductory Grower Workshop
The CropKing Grower Workshop is a two day program that incorporates teaching and demonstration to provide participants a more clear understanding of controlled environment vegetable production systems. The workshop includes classroom presentations by Jim Brown, Natalie Bumgarner and other key members of our sales and technical team as well as the opportunity to become familiar with hydroponic growing systems in a controlled environment greenhouse. Participants will learn about CropKing's vine and leafy crop production systems as well as being introduced to the central elements of hydroponic greenhouse design and management.

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Who can benefit from attending the Grower Workshop?

Workshop Training

The program is designed for the prospective or novice greenhouse vegetable grower as well as anyone interested in commercial hydroponic production. This workshop can be an invaluable opportunity for those contemplating investing in a hydroponic vegetable greenhouse. For those who purchase a CropKing greenhouse package, the workshop cost is deducted from the purchase price. Additionally, early stage managers or growers of a CropKing greenhouse will both gain valuable information to assist them in enhancing their current management. The workshop is designed to integrate technical teaching with demonstrations and time spent with the growing systems in a commercial scale hydroponic greenhouse. Our goal is to provide you with key information about the structures, the systems, and the plants and present you with the practical basics of how these elements integrate in greenhouse vegetable production. We realize that all the knowledge and skills needed to operate a hydroponic greenhouse will not fit into two days, but with our experience and understanding of controlled environment agriculture, we can greatly assist you in decisions about beginning a hydroponic greenhouse operation. Likewise, we can help you enhance your knowledge of greenhouse and crop management if you have already begun a greenhouse vegetable business.


What Information is Covered in the Workshop?

An introduction to greenhouse and hydroponic systems and plants as well as the cropping practices that take place in these systems are the main topics of our workshop. Several types of soilless culture are covered with the primary focus on the Perlite and Rockwool systems for vine crops and NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) for leaf crops. The crops discussed include lettuce, herbs, cucumber, and tomato with tomatoes and lettuce used as the model crops for vine and leafy crop production.
The Workshop consists of two full days, lunch included, that integrate classroom instruction and demonstrations as well as time spent in a hydroponic greenhouse. The schedule below describes how these topics are covered in both lecture and in-greenhouse presentations. The small group size in each Workshop allows ample time for questions and personal attention from the instructors, especially in the time spent in the greenhouse.

- Already know you want to register? Click here.

Training Workbook

Each full tuition student will receive a participant workbook. The workbook includes a full slide set of all material covered at the workshop as well as additional information. Included are sections on greenhouse structures and environmental control systems, plant biology and anatomy, basic hydroponic systems as well as information of source water quality and nutrient solution formulation. This workbook is designed to be useful at the workshop as well as a reference guide for future use.


Choosing a CropKing Introductory Grower Workshop Location

Workshops Held at Grower Sites Around the US

Our grower-site workshops are scheduled frequently and held in close proximity to existing grower operations throughout the USA. While the classroom workshop presentation content is consistent across workshops, there are some key benefits of grower site workshops.

  • The opportunity to observe, investigate and spend time in a working commercial greenhouse. The greenhouse structure and hydroponic growers systems will be consistent across locations. However, these greenhouses are individually owned and operated, so individual management methods may be present in the grower greenhouses. While you will be able to observe and investigate hydroponic systems in production operations, these are working greenhouses. This means that hands-on teaching of the techniques of hydroponic vegetable production will be limited to avoid interfering with or damaging our grower's livelihoods- their plants. 
  • The presence of a current commercial hydroponic grower can provide you with more personal knowledge of beginning and operating a hydroponic vegetable greenhouse. 
  • Varied locations around the US enable you to select the geographic region that is most appropriate. We schedule the workshops to be held during times of the year when typical production is occurring. The geography of each location, though, will likely influence the crop age and some of the management methods that you will observe. So, you may be able to select a grower-site workshop in a similar climate and with a similar planting schedule that would be used in your area. 

All of these workshops will discuss hydroponic production of both leafy and vine crops, regardless of the specifics of the greenhouses that we visit. This information will be relevant to you no matter your location.


Workshops Held at the CropKing Facility in Lodi, OH

In addition to workshops presented around the US to enable participants to experience a working CropKing greenhouse and meet current growers, we also present workshops at our facility in Lodi, OH. As mentioned above, the workshop presentation content will be consistent with grower site workshops. There are a three of key differences in the workshops held in Lodi that you should consider.


  • Size is capped at 12 attendees to enable more interaction with instructors, CropKing personnel and attendees. 
  • Workshops hosted at our office/greenhouse facility allow participants to meet with members of our sales and technical team who are less able to participate in off-site workshops. So, if you would appreciate the opportunity to discuss business planning, design, or construction topics with our commercial sales team, the Lodi workshops are an excellent option. 
  • Increased opportunity for hands-on experience because the CropKing Research/Teaching greenhouse has sections configured to enable planting, training, maintenance and harvesting techniques to be both demonstrated and practiced. So, if you are interested in fertilizer mixing, lettuce seeding and harvesting or more experience with tomato management, the Lodi location can offer more ‘plant time' than workshops visiting working commercial operations. 


It is our goal to offer workshop locations and activities that meet the needs of as many attendees as possible, so please select sites based on your preferences. Remember, though, that all workshops will discuss hydroponic production of both leafy and vine crops regardless of location.


Available Dates and Locations

Date  Location

January 23-24, 2015

conroe, TX - Lettuce and Tomato

Hampton Inn

February 20-21, 2015

North Charleston, SC - Lettuce and Tomato

Wingate by Wyndham

March 19-20, 2015

Lodi, OH - Lettuce and Tomato

Hampton Inn

April 16-17, 2015

Lodi, OH - Lettuce and Tomato

Hampton Inn

Facility Space is Limited, Please Register Before the Workshop Date!!


- Already know you want to register? Click here.

For more information on our South Carolina Workshop Click Here

For more information on our Ohio Workshop Click Here

For more information on our Texas Workshop Click Here


Need to cancel?
CropKing will happily schedule you for a future Growers School- either at our facility or a grower site. However, we are not able to offer refunds.



Jim Brown
Jim Brown is a graduate of Cornell University with a Masters Degree and a Vegetable Crops Major, and an Associated Degree from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. Jim has over 20 years experience in the hydroponic industry as a Horticulturist, teacher, and consultant on soilless growing. He is the author of the CropKing Grower's Manual, contributor to the S/CEA Newsletter, and is a requested speaker at hydroponic seminars and conferences. He works with hundreds of growers throughout the country and is widely recognized as a knowledgeable and talented professional in the hydroponics industry.

Natalie Bumgarner, a horticulturist at CropKing, has responsibilities in both research and grower training and outreach. Natalie, a West Virginia native grew up engaged in both plant and animal agriculture, and completed her B.S. and M.S. in horticulture at WVU and her Ph.D. in vegetable physiology and production at The Ohio State University. Natalie's focus and experience has been in enhancing vegetable productivity through research and teaching. She has experience in experimentation, teaching and training, as well as authoring several research and extension publications. Her areas of research include the impact of growing systems, environmental management, and mineral nutrition on the yield and nutritional quality of crops. At CropKing, Natalie engages with hydroponic growers and researchers to enhance greenhouse vegetable productivity. Her current projects include collaborative and on-site research focused on optimizing hydroponic systems and equipping greenhouse growers to reach production and quality goals.

Maxwell Salinger
, Research Horticulturist, Sales and Service. Maxwell has grown up in greenhouses and has a passion for controlled environment production. After pursuing a B.S degree in Crop Science from The Ohio State University Maxwell helped start a small hydroponic business growing basil and leafy greens in an old warehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Maxwell is now heading up the research done at CropKing on their hydroponic fodder system. He assists large and hobby farmers alike in selecting their fodder systems and optimizing their growing environment

Jeff Balduff
has been involved in agriculture his whole life. Raised on a widely diversified vegetable and grain farm, the knowledge he has accumulated from his experience in agriculture has now been applied to the greenhouse vegetable industry. With his degree in Farm Management and his experience as an active greenhouse grower, he has helped to design CropKing's Grower's Choice Electrical Panel and Nutrient Injection System. As a member of CropKing's Technical Sales and Service staff, he assists customers with greenhouse system design, construction, plant management, and insect and disease questions and control options.


 Business Plan Template  can help you create a package to compare various business costs and returns and contains the information your banker wants to see in order to find financing for your new business.

Free Video
gives a brief introduction to the different greenhouse structures CropKing has to offer and describes the role CropKing will play as you pursue your career in commercial hydroponics.


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