Understanding Greenhouse and CEA Production Systems (For Food Safety Professionals)

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We have partnered with the University of Florida, North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak, FL to offer a hands-on workshop about the industry, the systems and the components used in Control Environment Agriculture (CEA) & hydroponics.

This two-day workshop is designed to help those that provide support to greenhouse, CEA and protected agriculture operations better understand the science and practices behind these production systems.

We invite food safety professionals including extension agents, consultants, growers, auditors, researchers and students to attend.

Workshop details 


March 6-7, 2024
Day 1: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Day 2: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


North Florida Research and Education Center- Suwannee Valley
8202 CR 417
Live Oak, FL 32060


$325 Early Bird Registration by 2/15/24
$350 Registration after 2/15/2024

Register Online

Day 1 – 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

  • Structures: Greenhouses, High Tunnels, Open Shade & Indoor Containers
  • Transplant production
  • Soilless Media Systems
  • Solution Systems (no media)
  • Lunch & Dinner provided

Day 2 – 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

  • Irrigation & Nutrient Management
  • Crops: Traditional & Specialty
  • Lunch provided

For a detailed agenda and more information regarding hotels please see Greenhouse and CEA Agenda.

For a list of hotels in Live Oak, FL and Lake City, FL please see Lodging Information.

Nearest airports to Live Oak, FL are Jacksonville, FL, Gainesville, FL and Valdosta, GA (about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 min drive).

Topic Details

  • Structures for Protected Culture: Fan and pad greenhouses, passively ventilated greenhouses, indoor containers, high tunnels, shade structures, outside production, and row covers for season extension
  • Transplant Production: Tray selection, seeding media, fertilizer programs, irrigation, and germinating and growing tips, importance of cultivar selection, and sourcing seed
  • Soilless Media Systems: Selecting a media, lay-flat and upright bags, nursery pots, vertical media systems, Bato buckets, Earth boxes, in-ground modified trough systems, and open above-ground troughs
  • Solution Systems (no media): Floating systems, Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), and vertical solution systems
  • Irrigation and Nutrient Management: Irrigation system designs, emitter selection, using dosing equipment, mixing fertilizers, nutrient deficiencies, and nutrient solution monitoring, and petiole sap testing
  • Traditional Crops: Tomato, cucumber, and pepper
  • Specialty Crops: Lettuces, crucifer crops, micro-greens, cut flowers, edible flowers, herbs, ethnic vegetables, and specialty greens

Most of the hands-on experiences will be outside. Closed-toed shoes are recommended. Plan for all weather conditions.

Course Organization Team

Bob Hochmuth
UF/IFAS NFREC- Suwannee Valley Regional Specialized Extension Agent Vegetables

Wanda Laughlin
UF/IFAS NFREC- Suwannee Valley Protected Ag Program Manager

Dan Fenneman
UF/IFAS Extension Madison County Extension Agent, Agriculture

Tatiana Sanchez
UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent

Hannah Wooten
UF/IFAS Extension Orange County Commercial Horticulture

Kristen Gibson, Ph.D.
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Director, Center for Food Safety

Elena Rogers
NC State University, Area Specialized Extension Agent, Food Safety – Fresh Produce

Kim Glasscock
UF/IFAS NFREC – Suwannee Valley Program Assistant

For more information contact

Elena Rogers – elena_rogers@ncsu.edu, 352-316-4445
Kim Glasscock – kglasscock@ufl.edu, 386-219-4276

Kale grows vertically indoors with purple, blue/red lights

Kale growing indoor using LED lights at NFREC-SV.

Row of buckets with ripening bell peppers

Bell peppers growing in bato buckets.

shelves of trays with small redish plants

Garnet amaranth growing in CropKing Hobby Fooder/ micro green rack

Lettuce growing in towers, bench with microscopes

Greenhouse facilities at NFREC.