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Southeast Georgia Landscape Training Attracts Over 100 Industry Professionals

Over 100 industry professionals attended the Southeast Georgia Landscape Training held February 4, 2010, at Okefenokee Technical College (OTC).  The event featured horticulture and landscape experts who shared the latest information on pesticide regulations, turf management, and landscape solutions.

Andy Brannen, OTC vice president for economic development, and Doug Furman, OTC 2010 Rick Perkins award winner, welcomed speakers and participants to the OTC Waycross Campus and introduced program organizers - Judy Hesters, OTC continuing education director and Mark Deal, OTC horticulture instructor.

Hesters and Deal worked with representatives from the UGA Extension Office and the Urban Agriculture Office to secure the following speakers/instructors: Todd Hurt, UGA Center for Urban Ag training Coordinator; Chris Adams of the Georgia Department of Agriculture; Dr. Will Hudson, UGA extension entomologist; Dr. Don Gardner, Glynn County extension agent; R. J. Byrne, Thomas County extension agent; Robbie Edalgo, Camden County extension agent; Willie Chance of the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture; and Lori Felton with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College horticulture department.

The highly successful educational training program was sponsored by the UGA Extension Office, the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture, the OTC Economic Division of the Technical College System of Georgia, and the OTC Horticulture Club.

Twenty-five Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) members stayed over after the conclusion of training for the second meeting of the Chapter 4 GGIA. Chapter 4 solicits membership from 32 counties in Southeast Georgia.
“The high level of enthusiasm for the industry in the coastal area of the state is very apparent,” stated Chris Butts, GGIA  director of legislative, environmental and public affairs, who extended a special thanks to GGIA Educator of the Year, Mark Deal, and the OTC staff for inviting GGIA to participate in the Southeast Georgia Landscape Training. “We look forward to the continued progress of Chapter 4.” 
For more information about future horticulture-related training, contact Andy Brannen at (912) 287-5858 or Mark Deal at (912) 338-5284. For more information about GGIA Chapter 4, contact Chris Butts at chris@ggia.org.

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Photo 1: OTC Horticulture instructor Mark Deal (right) welcomed University of Georgia (UGA) extension agents Willie Chance (L to R) of Houston County and Dr. Don Gardner of Glynn County to Okefenokee Technical College. Deal also welcomed Dr. Will Hudson (second from right), UGA Extension Entomologist, who spoke on turf insects.
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Photo 2: Todd Hurt (L to R), training coordinator of crop & soil sciences, Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture; Willie Chance, UGA county extension agent & urban agriculture outreach coordinator; and Chris Adams with the Georgia Department of Agriculture talked casually with Mark Deal (right) between training sessions.
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Photo 3: Tim Mertz (left) and Chris Lamb were on hand to promote Bobcat of Jacksonville. Mertz is a resident of Nahunta and offers help with new equipment, parts, and other Bobcat needs.
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Photo 4: Raymond West of Waycross Lawnmower Center displayed Toro equipment and offered assistance to those interested in commercial and residential products.
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Photo 5: Speakers and guests were invited to tour the OTC horticulture greenhouse as part of the training day.
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Photo 6: Vendors, such as Ronnie Burch of Vermeer in Savannah, Georgia, were available to discuss the latest equipment with training participants.
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Photo 7: Dr. Don Gardner taught a breakout session called “Identifying Common Tree Problems,” as part of the afternoon program.
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Photo 8: Participants signed up for door prizes and additional educational information throughout the day.



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