Kelton Zbarcha is a student in the Fruit, Vegetable and Organic Horticulture Management certificate program through the Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT).
For the last seven years, he has been working in the horticultural industry. In that time, he says he gained knowledge and skills from that experience, but he felt incomplete because he did not have a college education and he did not have any formal horticultural education. When Kelton became aware of the certificate programs the MSU Department of Horticulture offered through the IAT, he felt like that is what he needed to become whole.
The best selling point about this major according to Kelton is the fact that it is led by passionate educators. "Course work is made more enjoyable and rewarding when my professors feel as passionate about horticulture as I do. It feels like I am doing more than just receiving an education for myself: instead, it feels like there is also a collaborative effort to help benefit not just myself or the horticultural industry, but everything else that surrounds us."
"One of my goals is to become a successful dahlia breeder. I have experience in the specialty cut flower industry and I would like to breed new cultivars that help improve that industry. I would also like to introduce new dahlias with dark foliage and stems. Cultivars with dark foliage and stems are so striking in the garden, and I would love to increase the number of these cultivars to help give gardeners a greater selection."