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UGA Alum, Charlie McKenzie ’13 Featured on FloraDaily.Com

biobest3Mr. Charles McKenzie has recent been featured on the web site  Charlie had an article he published on greenhouse Biocontrol at Tagawa Enterprises, where he manages the biocontrol program.  Here is a link for interested readers to learn about biocontrol:   Charlie will be coming to the UGA campus to interview students interested in becoming a professional grower, and will be speaking about plug production to our Hort 4050 Greenhouse Management Class.  Nice to see our alumni sharing their knowledge and publishing!

UGA Horticulture Graduate Now Runs Family Business

DavissmUGA Horticulture alumni Michael Davis ’97, and his spouse, Lisa, MA ’09, with their two children at Davis Floral, Inc., Elberton GA.  Michael was a student in Hort 4050, Greenhouse Management, and went on to get his MBA from Georgia State University, and in 2010, purchased his parents greenhouse business, which started in 1964.  The couple now owns and runs the family business.  The Davis’s have, over the years, hired many UGA Hort Department graduates and currently have several in their employ. Currently their greenhouse is the site of a UGA research project using computer controlled irrigation systems, working with William Wheeler, Dr. Matt Chappell’s graduate student. Almost every year since 1980, they have donated plant material, worked with our research projects, and spoken to our students in class! The company grows florist crops, poinsettias, bedding plants and vegetative annuals. It’s long hours and hard work, but UGA Hort grads can and do run their own businesses. Thanks for your support Michael and Lisa! Go Dawgs!

Alumna Alexandria Berkowitz, Vice President for Customer Service – Colorburst!

0918151531asmallHappy news from UGA Horticulture Department alumna Alexandria Berkowitz.  Alexandria (Alex) currently serves as Vice President for Customer Service at the award-winning Atlanta landscape firm, Colorburst.  In her management position, she is often the point person for  sales referrals, customer education and problem solving.  Alex used her horticulture training, and her high level of motivation, to rise to a significant administrative position since graduating from UGA in 2010.  Alex is living proof that Horticulture majors that are diligent and motivated do very well in the real world.  Alex is also officially engaged to Chris Mote, whom works at Gormet Foods International. Alex and Chris have scheduled a wedding day this Fall.  Congratulations Alex!  Go Dawgs!

Alumn Kohler Brafford Now Manages DC Area Landscape Services


Kohler is a garden manager at Surrounds Landscape Architecture and Construction in Sterling, Virginia. Surrounds specializes in the architecture, construction, and management of lavish residential landscapes in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. He oversees the property management of around sixty homes to ensure that gardens and landscape features are growing as planned by the landscape architects. “The best part of my job,” says Kohler, “is working outside every day on some of the most luxurious properties in the Washington, DC metro area and constantly learning new things while meeting new people. Working at Surrounds has been an incredible experience.” Kohler is involved in many facets of the garden management division, whether it is managing one of his three crews, working with the architects on enhancement work, completing plant health care services, or backwashing koi ponds, he has his hands in all sorts of things!

UGA Horticulture Graduate Now Head Gardener at Chihuly Gardens

11992471_10104799388418980_154652781_n 11997075_10104799388294230_1650834599_nShanna Tomlinson-Jones has recently accepted a position as Head Gardener at the famous Chiluly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle, Washington.  As she describes it “Chihuly Garden and Glass is unlike any other garden I have worked at before. Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures are majestic and breathtaking. To best display the art with the surrounding flora in a delicately balanced and interesting manner is fun and challenging in the best possible way. I absolutely love it!”  Shanna got her start as a dedicated student worker at the UGA Trial Garden, and worked at a major greenhouse facility in Michigan, among her other diverse horticultural experiences. UGA Hort graduates are employed all over the U.S. and Shanna serves as a great example that Horticulture can take you places.

Matt McCarty Accepts Position at Tagawa Enterprises, Colorado

CAM004381Matt McCarty, a recent Horticulture Department Alumn, has taken a big step up and has accepted a career position with Tagawa Enterprises, in Brighton, Colorado. Matt is now a range grower and will be undertaking significant training at Tagawa in plug production. Plugs are one of the most demanding crops one can grow ina greenhouse. Matt took our greenhouses courses, did his Hort Internship at Heartland Growers in Indiana, and then worked a year at the awesome Metrolina Greenhouse Facility in North Carolina. We are very appreciative to these three companies for the training, support and opportunity they have given Matt and other students from our program! 

Alumna Anna Paulk Lands Job at Virginia Tech!

FullSizeRenderHorticulture Department Alumna Anna Paulk has accepted a position at Virginia Tech, working as a research assistant for Dr. Jim Owens at the Hampton Roads Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach, VA.  Dr. Owens is an Assistant Professor in Nursery Crops who has a focus on Agricultural Profitability and Environmental Sustainability in the Green Industry. Anna is working on several projects supporting the Owens lab efforts. Anna Paulk has previously been an Americorp volunteer and has worked as a community garden program manager in Philadelphia.  Horticulture careers are never boring!

Graduate Student TC Jayalath, Wins Grant for Organic Lettuce Research

Theekshana (TC) Jayalath, a graduate student in the UGA Horticulture Department, recently received a grant from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (S-SARE) program. The $11,000 award will help fund his research project entitled, “Evaluation of High Tunnel Systems for Spring Organic Lettuce Production in Georgia”. His project was 1 of 13 graduate student grants awarded by the S-SARE Administrative Council and the only one representing Georgia this year. TC is excited to continue to investigate regional production issues as well as consumer preferences for this important and delicious crop!

TC Jayalath collects data from high tunnel lettuce grown at the UGA Horticulture Research Farm in Watkinsville, GA.

Horticulture Department Welcomes New Students

Hort CookoutblogsmHorticulture is alive and well at The University of Georgia. Over 70 students and department faculty attended the 2015 Fall Cookout welcoming new students to our Department.  Current Horticulture Club members manned the grill, and the Horticulture Club officers and Dr. Doug Bailey, our Department Head, presented information on department activities coming up, club activities and department resources available to students.  Dr. Tim Smalley, our Undergraduate Coordinator, who coordinates and shepherds this event every year outlined the benefits of joining Horticulture Club and getting involved in department activities.  This is our 16th year holding this in our outdoor classroom, and we enjoyed record attendance this year. Judging from the level of happiness and the great interest shown by the new students, we are clearly going to have a great year!  Thanks to all the staff and students whom stepped up to make this happen.  Go Dawgs!!!

Michael Martin Joins Horticultural Physiology Lab

Michael Martin

Michael Martin

Dr. Michael Martin, who earned his PhD from our department in 2012 under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Chappell, has joined the Horticultural Physiology Lab. Michael was hired to work on one of the lab’s newer projects: Biofeedback of LED lighting for controlled environment agriculture. His position is funded through a joint USDA grant between PhytoSynthetix and our lab. To read more about that project,  go to Geoff Weaver, who was working on this project, accepted a new position in the department and will be working with Dr. Chappell.