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CEA 100


Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is poised to be the fastest growing forms in agriculture in the 21st century.

CEA100 Introduction to Controlled Environment Agriculture

Your interest in CEA (hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, or aquaculture) is shared by many around the globe. Whether you are interested in building a career in working in the commercial scale CEA industry, or becoming a grower/owner for your geographic area– it is important that you understand the context of this industry, not just in the United States, but in North America and globally as well.

Unlike traditional agriculture that has historically been passed down from one generation of farmers to the next –CEA growing requires workers/growers, or grower owners to have knowledge of engineering, chemistry, biology, horticulture, plant physiology, plant pathology, entomology, computers, and complex systems of operation. While the industry is poised to grow, the lack of skilled workers/growers in the U.S. is a critical gap that AGROWN/AIC is committed to fill – by providing flexible, any time, anywhere, and hands-on in greenhouse training.

AIC created this skills-based learning program to begin to build a pipeline of skilled 21st century nextgen farmers dedicated to feeding the world. There is no “one” place on the web where you can find, in one location the information you will be provided in this class, one that comes from the result of extensive vetting, research and due diligence of the industry – both in the U.S. and globally.

This course is designed to be the first course in our 18 credit hour CEA Greenhouse Worker Certification program. This program will place you on the path of greenhouse grower or grower/owner in the industry. You will learn more about creating your career path in Module 10 of this course.

Many of the resources in this class are generic and focus on the most common CEA growing system –hydroponics. Think of CEA hydroponics as the foundation for advances like vertical, aeroponics or aquaponics. Likewise, aquaculture is included in CEA with the rise in indoor fish/seafood farming, that creates the opportunity for combining hydroponics fish=aquaponics.

Our goal in this class is to give an overview of all types of “ponics” (in water) – and as you learn these differences, we will help you have a set of skills to look at websites and popular media with a more discerning “eye.” Many of those who espouse one CEA technique over another in the popular media are not directly involved in a commercial CEA operation, or even necessarily in farming at all. Our job is to help you to learn fact from fiction and provide scientific resources that will educate you to become a CEA professional.

AIC hopes to pique your interest, feed your curiosity, and support your learning curve of the CEA industry. We are here every step of the way as you choose your career for the first time, are thinking of transition to a new career, or perhaps wanting to find a “boomerang” career now that you have retired from another industry.