New Medicinal Plants Course Addresses Industry Needs (UF Health)

New Medicinal Plants Course Addresses Industry Needs

Emerging industries require a skilled workforce to function. Sometimes, the industry begins to boom before employers can hire a sufficient number of skilled employees. That was the case for many employers in the medicinal plant industry, which includes crops like hemp, kava and kratom. Faculty from two University of Florida colleges worked together to help meet that demand with a new course.

Developed by the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the UF College of Pharmacy, the course addresses the skill sets required to help launch new, emerging crops. Labs taught students skills in propagation, germination, extraction and analysis and everything in between.

“Employers in emerging industries have issues finding employees that understand plant production and extraction for medicinal use,” said Brian Pearson, a UF/IFAS assistant professor who developed and taught the course. “There is a major gap of potential employees with this skill set, and it is impacting producers. This course teaches a different skillset from what current course offerings prepare students for.”

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