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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. To pursue this passion, he attended Michigan State University and received 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 the fertilizer industry, and with grower education, entomology and greenhouses. Having worked throughout the United States with various crops and growers, Jake is excited to bring his diverse knowledge and experience to help CropKing customers, whether they are novice or experienced growers. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and newborn girl, and also finding time to work in his 1/3 acre vineyard.

 

Nick Greens, Horticulturist / Consultant

Nick Greens started his growing career in 2002 as an apprentice grower for a hydroponics shop. Nick worked through several cycles/harvests in San Diego before venturing out on his own. In 2007, Nick moved to Humboldt County, California to work as an assistant grower for a collective of green houses, where he began experimenting with a vortex brewer to develop several recipes for compost teas. In 2010, Nick moved back to Chicago to start growing produce for Blue Star Produce where he perfected his compost tea recipes and became a pioneer in organic microgreens and leafy greens production, working for and advising many Chicago indoor farms including Garfield Produce, Bright Farms, Windy City Greens, Plant Chicago, and Nick Greens Grow Team.

Nick created the microgreens program at FarmedHere in 2014, building its first NFT systems, creating crop and lighting recipes. Nick is passionate about educating a new generation of controlled environment farmers and has created many internship opportunities for at-risk youth in urban Chicago.

 

Jeff Balduff, Technical Sales & Service

Jeff was raised on a diversified vegetable and grain farm in Huron County, Ohio. He has assisted countless growers with achieving success in field and greenhouse agriculture during his entire adult life. He has accumulated and shares his 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 in the U.S. and in countries abroad.

 

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