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Instructors

Jim Brown, Horticulturist

Jim is a graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree in horticulture with a minor in plant physiology, and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Macdonald College of McGill University. Jim has over 30 years of experience as a horticulturist, educator, and consultant. 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 respected as a knowledgeable and talented professional in the hydroponics industry.

 

Jake Emling, Horticulturist

Jake Emling grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where his love of the outdoors and nature started. He attended Michigan State University and earned both a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Horticulture. While at MSU, Jake conducted research on various fruit crops in intensive growing systems. Additionally, he has experience working in entomolgy and greenhouses, and he has developed several grower education programs. Jake’s knowledge and experience in the fertilizer industry allows him to easily identify a grower’s needs and develop unique solutions for our growers, helping to increase production and quality of crops.

 

Jeff Balduff, Technical Sales & Service

Jeff was raised on a diversified vegetable and grain farm in Ohio, and was a hydroponic grower prior to joining CropKing. He has assisted thousands of growers with achieving success in field and greenhouse agriculture. He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in greenhouse design, construction, hydroponic growing systems, plant health, managing nutrients, and integrated pest management, which has shaped him into an invaluable member of our team during his 20+ years working at CropKing. He has also shared his expertise as a consultant for active growers and construction projects throughout the world.

 

Dante D'Avello, Technical Service

With a background in marine biology, Dante is our go-to aquaponics guru, but he also travels to our customers to assist and oversee the construction and set up of greenhouses and growing systems. His passion for plants started at a young age, working with his parents catering company. Dante is an important part of our grower workshop program, educating future growers on best practices, troubleshooting and greenhouse maintenance.

 

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