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Organic Court Case – Aquaponics Statement

We have to work together and raise our voices in collaboration to keep Hydroponics and Aquaponics Organic-Eligible! A Lawsuit against the USDA is attempting to strip Organic eligibility from hydroponics and other “container-based” agriculture which will impact aquaponics growers as well. 

We all know that aquaponics is an environmentally appropriate way to grow food that mimics natural ecosystem. And that the aquatic ecology is very similar to soil ecology, which is the “foundation to the organic standard”.

Plants can grow without soil — they can’t grow without water!

Organic Certification is critical for many commercial growers to meet consumer demand and achieve equitable price points. 

 Statements to the court by interested parties are due this month. Read the statement here, and sign below.

October 19, 2020

Statement from the Aquaponics Association and Undersigned Entities Regarding the Organic Certification of Container-Based Agriculture; Case No 3:20-cv-1537 before the US District Court for the Northern District of California

The Aquaponics Association and undersigned organizations and individuals write to express our opposition to the lawsuit Case No 3:20-cv-1537 regarding the Organic Certification of “hydroponic operations, which are production systems that grow food and crops without any soil.”

Aquaponics is a food production method integrating fish and plants in a recirculating system. This symbiotic relationship mimics the biological cycles found in nature. Aquaponics has been used as a farming technique for thousands of years and is now seeing large-scale viability to feed a growing global population with fresh produce and efficient fish protein.

Benefits of aquaponics include dramatically less water use; minimal agriculture discharge to air, water, and soil; and the ability to grow food in locations where soil is non-existent on urban rooftops, city centers, concrete, sand to arid deserts.

Aquaponic systems include a hydroponic component in which plants are grown. If this lawsuit is successful, many aquaponic growers will likely lose their organic certification that is critical to their economic success.

Aquaponics Fits the Organic Mission
The Organic label is about empowering consumers to identify products that match their values. Consumers do not prefer organic because it is grown in soil; they prefer it because it is chemical-free, environmentally sustainable, and relies on natural ecosystems for plant growth.

Aquaponic produce aligns with what the consumer expects when they purchase “Organic”

“Organic” is perceived by consumers to mean:

Production without synthetic chemicals
Many aquaponic farms operate with only OMRI-certified materials and follow NOP guidelines.

Production that fosters the cycling of resources, ecological balance, and biodiversity conservation
Aquaponics is an ecosystems in which reduces natural resource consumption, and produces zero waste. Aquaponics has also proven that it can produce more food than soil culture per area, thus saving more of the natural soil environment for crops that can perform better in field crop production such as corn, soy, wheat, and many vining crops. And, aquaponics produces the most efficient animal protein: fish.

Production that relies on biological ecosystems to support plant health
Aquaponic systems rely on a robust microflora in the root zone—made of the same types and numbers of bacteria and fungi that thrive in soil. This flora converts nutrients into forms available to plants and maintains plant health by reinforcing naturally-occurring mechanisms of disease resistance—just as in a healthy soil. (see the Aquaponic Soil Food Web Report)

Production that responds to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices
Consumers expect that organic produce has been grown with a healthy human element, where local customs, expertise, and ingenuity can overcome droughts, concrete jungles, and climate changes. Aquaponics allows environmentally-sensitive agriculture where growing in soil isn’t possible. And, controlled environment growing offers the possibility of local food year-round.

This lawsuit, if successfully, would prevent entire regions of the country from the benefits of the organic label to their farmers.

In an era of climate change, resource depletion, and rapid population growth, the organic price premium is a critical incentive to draw more growers into aquaponics. If this lawsuit succeeds, the aquaponics industry will not grow as quickly and our environment, health, and economy will suffer.

Aquaponics is in no way intending to out compete soil growers. Instead aquaponics is part of the wholistic solution for feeding a growing population in places that traditional organic soil growers would not otherwise choose to or be able to grow. 

On behalf of the Aquaponics Association, and:

Sign the 2020 Organic Aquaponics Statement to the US District Court for the Northern District of California

Bellow listed 2018 Organic Letter Signees:
PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WANT US TO REMOVE YOU

Agua Dulce Farm
Anacostia Aquaponics
Aquaberry Gardens
Arbordale Nurseries
Archi’s Institute
Association for Vertical Farming
Austin Aquaponics
Berry Audit Services
Blue Mojo Farm, LLC
Boto Waterworks
Cali Summer Clubs
CC Grow Inc.
CEA Fresh Farms
Center Valley Organics LLC
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
City of Minot North Dakota
NC Simple Life Farms LLC
Downtown Farms and Aquaponics
Edenworks
Evergreens
Fazenda Urbana Inc.
FloppyHatFarms

Fresh Farm Aquaponics, Inc
Freshies Aquaponics
Friendly Aquaponics, Inc
Gateshead Consulting Corporation
Great Lakes Growers LLC
HATponics
Heartland Aquaponics, LLC
Jenoe Group – Hydroponics
JoLi Farms
Joyful J Farms
Kabcao Aquaponics
Laughing Bear Enterprises
Living Justly Industries
Lotus Urban Farm and Garden Supply
Making Seeds 2 Cell
Manas Organic
Marine Science Faculty, Autonomous University of Sinaloa
Moroccan association of hydroponics
Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation
Oko Farms, LLC
Profound Microfarms
Rainsmith Agritech/Aquaponics
Renew Richmond
Re-Nuble
Solar Spice and Tea Trading Company
Springworks Farm
Symbiotic Aquaponic
Synergy Star Events
TerraFirma Aquaponixx
Texas Organic Matters
The Family Fish Farms Network, Inc
Trifecta Ecosystems, Inc
VERDEEN
Verticulture Farms
Windy City Harvest / Chicago Botanic Garden
Yep Yep Organic Farm

Individuals:
Amber C. Monroe
Andrew Carter
Everett L Melton
Imad Jabbour
Ivy Diene
Juan Pablo Pesalaccia
Krishnagopal Sharma
Marc L. Maynard
Matthew Henley
Peter Tyler
Xina Ash

contact: Brian Filipowich
[email protected]

Sunday Cultivating the Future Agenda

Check out the Agenda for Sunday, October 18 of The 2020 Aquaponics Conference, Cultivating the Future. On Sunday, Yemi Amu from Oko Farms in Brooklyn, NY will discuss aquaponics, food justice, and environmental stewardship!

See the Full Agenda: PDF Agenda, Sunday October 18, Cultivating the Future

Early Bird Tickets Ending October 2, Save $100!!!

Learn More: $149 Early Bird Ticket w/o Membership

Learn More: $199 Early Bird Ticket with Membership — Save 20% of Membership!

Full Program with presentation descriptions and speaker bios will be published October 9. Agenda subject to minor changes.

Did you know that teachers and community-growers are eligible for super-discounted tickets! Learn more about the STEM & Community Discount!!!

Learn more: https://aquaponicsassociation.org/stem-community-discount-tickets-2020-aquaponics-conference/

On Sunday, Amy Falcone from Bella Vita Farm will discuss their story of a successful startup, and then the challenges navigating through the pandemic.

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Saturday Cultivating the Future Agenda

Check out the Agenda for Saturday, October 17 of The 2020 Aquaponics Conference, Cultivating the Future. Ed “Aqua-Eddie” Tivnan will be discussing his revolutionary Living Curriculum with Aquaponics!

See the Full Agenda: PDF Agenda, Saturday October 17, Cultivating the Future

Early Bird Tickets Ending October 2, Save $100!!!

Learn More: $149 Early Bird Ticket w/o Membership

Learn More: $199 Early Bird Ticket with Membership — Save 20% off Membership!

Full Program with presentation descriptions and speaker bios will be published October 9. Agenda subject to minor changes.

Did you know that teachers and community-growers are eligible for super-discounted tickets! Learn more about the STEM & Community Discount!!!

Learn more: https://aquaponicsassociation.org/stem-community-discount-tickets-2020-aquaponics-conference/

 

 

Friday Cultivating the Future Agenda

 

Check out the Agenda for Friday, October 16 of The 2020 Aquaponics Conference, Cultivating the Future. On Friday, Liz and Georgie of Herring Gut Learning Center will be discussing Aquaponics in STEAM Education!

See the Full Agenda: PDF Agenda, Friday October 16, Cultivating the Future

Early Bird Tickets Ending October 2, Save $100!!!

Learn More: $149 Early Bird Ticket w/o Membership

Learn More: $199 Early Bird Ticket with Membership — Save 20% off Membership!

Full Program with presentation descriptions and speaker bios will be published October 9. Agenda subject to minor changes.

Did you know that teachers and community-growers are eligible for super-discounted tickets! Learn more about the STEM & Community Discount!!!

Learn more: https://aquaponicsassociation.org/stem-community-discount-tickets-2020-aquaponics-conference/

 

On Friday, Dr. George Brooks will discuss the Aquaponics Victory Garden!

Aquaponics Association Statement on Aquaculture Executive Order

September 21, 2020

For Immediate Release

The Aquaponics Association has published a Statement regarding White House Executive Order 13921, Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth.

Read the Full Statement: Aquaponics Association Aquaculture Statement, September 2020

The Executive Order’s attention to the amplification and development of U.S. aquaculture addresses the important goal of increasing the supply of domestic fish in our diets. However, the Executive Order’s method of achieving this goal risks severe negative consequences.

We do not support the de-regulation of off-shore fishing proposed as a means to boost production. Prioritizing short-term gains over meaningful, long-term viability of aquaculture is contrary to the spirit of the industry aquaculturists have worked so hard to build. Past implementations of largely unmitigated off-shore aquaculture are well correlated with the detriment of the overall fishing supply and environmental health of our waters.

Recirculating, Inland, and Aquaponic culture arose, in many cases, from our desire to conduct aquaculture in both an environmentally and financially sustainable manner.

We propose the following actions to expand domestic fish production in a safe, sustainable manner:

  1. Recognize Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS), Freshwater Pond, and Aquaponic seafood culture as sectors of co-equal importance to marine culture. 
  2. Establish regular lines of contact between the NOAA Fisheries offices, Regional Aquaculture Center network, USDA Extension Services, and the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. 
  3. Continue to support regulation and oversight of American marine aquaculture to ensure the long-term safety and viability of our natural waters.

Please see the full statement for more details.

This Statement was prepared by Lucien Blakemore and Regina Greuel Cook of Symbiotic Aquaponic, an Affiliate Member of the Aquaponics Association. 

Contacts:
Brian Filipowich, Chairman
Aquaponics Association
[email protected]

Regina Greuel Cook, Vice President
Symbiotic Aquaponic
[email protected]

Do you want to support Aquaponics?

The Aquaponics Association is a nonprofit that cultivates aquaponics through education, advocacy, and connection. Please consider a General Membership to support this cause.

Benefits of Membership include:

  • Regular newsletters
  • Access to Aquaponics Association Members Forum with chat groups and direct messages
  • Ability to participate in working groups to move aquaponics forward: 1) Commercial Aquaponics; 2) Community Aquaponics; 3) Aquaponics in STEM Education; and 4) Aquaponics Research
  • Exclusive web content like checklists, best practices, conference presentations and full conference videos from top experts
  • Legislative & Regulatory Updates
  • Special Member Discounts

Membership fees also support:

  • Development and promotion of materials to educate the public about the benefits and opportunities of aquaponics!
  • Development of industry standards and best practices
  • Infrastructure to connect aquaponic growers from around the world
  • Strategic partnerships to expand aquaponics into new fields
  • Ability to speak with one voice to policy-makers and regulators on issues like Organic certification, food safety certification, and agriculture policy
  • Resources to improve aquaponic growers’ skills, growing capacity, and business opportunities
  • Resources to cultivate and develop aquaponics as an emerging green industry

Learn more: General Membership

 

STEM / Community Discount Tickets; 2020 Aquaponics Conference

The Aquaponics Association is a non-profit Member-based organization expanding the practice of aquaponics through education, advocacy, and outreach.

To fulfill our goal of expanding aquaponics, we ensure that all communities and practitioners have access to affordable conference tickets and Memberships.

Until October 2 OR While Supplies Last:

Early Bird STEM / Community Discount Tickets are only $79 through October 2 for the entire three-day 2020 Aquaponics Conference, “Cultivating the Future”, by the Aquaponics Association!

AND Discount Tickets can be bundled with an annual Aquaponics Association Membership or STEM Education Membership for only $99!!

Teachers can bundle their ticket with our new STEM Membership that includes new special teacher benefits!

The following individuals are eligible for the STEM / Community Discount Ticket:

  • K-12 Teachers — Includes TWO FREE Student Tickets!
  • Home Growers
  • Small farms with less than 10 employees
  • Small-businesses with less than 10 employees

DIRECTIONS

Please fill out form, below.

We will email you within 4 days with a link to purchase page and a code for purchase. At this point you will have the option for a ticket only, or a ticket-Membership bundle; and the option of a General Membership or STEM Education Membership.

Shortly thereafter, you will receive an event invitation email from the Run The World virtual event platform. Follow the instructions, create a free sign in, and you are ready to go on October 16!!


CONTACT:

Brian Filipowich; [email protected]

2020 Conference Speaker Information

Here are Important Resources you may use to give you information and help you navigate speaking at the Conference:

  • The 2020 Aquaponics Conference Promotion website: https://aquaponicsconference.org/
  • Run The World Virtual Conference Platform (where conference will take place): https://www.runtheworld.today/app/invitation/6000
  • Here is a PDF Document Guide on how to be a Speaker on the Run The World virtual event platform: 2020 Aquaponics Conference Speaker Guide
  • Here is a 4-minute YouTube Run The World Speaker Tutorial: 2020 Aquaponics Conference Video Speaker Guide
  • PLEASE SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE for instructions on using Pre-Recorded Video, if you choose to.

Here is Important Information about presenting at the Conference:

  • All Conference Speakers are granted one ticket for the full day of their session. Your login will work for all three days. If you would like to view content outside of your presentation day, and it is within your budget, then you are encouraged to purchase a 2020 Conference Speaker Supplemental Ticket for $49. If your budget is tight, don’t sweat it!
  • You either already have, or will soon receive an email from Run The World with your Conference Login invitation. Please check your email for “Run the world speaker”. Please follow the link and let us know if you have any issues.

Instructions for Using Pre-Recorded Video

There are a few options available to use pre-recorded video for your sessions. The method described below is our recommended method:

  • STEP 1: Record Your Video
    • Record a video in any method you like in any common video file format. You may use Zoom, a smart phone camera, a computer camera, or many other commonly available apps and devices.
    • If you plan to use slides in your presentation, we recommend using Zoom.
  • STEP 2: Send Us Your Video by Monday Night, October 12
    • You may send us your video file in any method you choose such as email, dropbox, google drive, etc
    • You may also use this easy free file transfer app: https://wetransfer.com/
  • STEP 3: Videos on Youtube
    • The Association will upload all videos to our Youtube Account
    • We will provide you a link to your video
  • STEP 4: Share Your Video at Your Session!
    • Your Session is ALREADY CREATED and OPEN. Enter and look around by clicking the prominent Enter as Speaker button. 
    • In the lower left of the Run The World Speaker Screen is a Screen Share Button. 
    • Click “Share video via link” and paste the link we provided you into the space ***SEE PIC BELOW
    • The video will appear in your presentation screen, and you can start, pause, and control the video from within your session. You can also continue speaking to guests, or remain silent if the video has audio.
    • Once the video ends, you can transition right into Q&A within the same session
    • (If you are not available during the time of your session, just let us know! An Association Board Member will introduce the video and play it for you.)

 

Food Safety un-Scrambled

Food Safety un-Scrambled; Aquaponic Guide to Food Safety and Organics

Aquaponic, Hydroponic and Aquaculture farms can and do earn food safety and organic certifications.

By:  Juli Ogden, The Farm Plan President,  Farmer and GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer

The Farm Plan is an Affiliate Member of the Aquaponics Association

(Juli will be presenting at The 2020 Aquaponics Conference October 16-18, learn more: 2020 Conference Website.)

 

Let’s Start with Food Safety’s Bottom Line

The bottom-line in food safety is to stop cross contamination between animals, water, manure, people and materials.  

When cross contamination happens, people become ill.  Children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are commonly affected first.  Sometimes people die. 

More than 20 years ago, in response to a number of deaths, German retailers began asking for proof that crops were safely grown.  This movement spread across Germany and then Europe, eventually circling the earth. 

Today, in order to sell their crops to large buyers, farms around the world need a food safety certificate. The largest farm certification program is GLOBALG.A.P. but the rules are written in highly technical language with zero instructions.  Food safety documentation and certification is an over-whelming burden for already overworked farms. 

The important step is to prove you grow safe and healthy food.  Most farms are much closer to ready than they think!  They have some cleanup, organization, and worker training to do.  Many chemical storage areas need basic improvements.  With the right guidance, it all becomes clear.

OVERVIEW

When the Aquaponic Association invited me to create a comparison of food safety certification options for aquaponic farms; it sounded pretty simple.  You have probably had similar ‘less than realistic’ thoughts.  This topic is an entangled mass of programs with no clear direction. Once you read each program’s overview, I will offer supporting facts and personal experiences. 

Most farms harbor some fear about food safety audits.  For aquaponic farms this is emphasized.  Your industry is a ‘teenager’.  Your fears are increased by the very factor that makes your farming model  so efficient. Your grow large crops in a small footprint, even inside industrial buildings, use limited amounts of water and greenhouse crops are protected from most animal and bird contamination.

So many positives.  So why is it scary?  It’s the public’s perception of fertilizing crops with live fish.  Information is often the best solution to fear. 

Know that the fish component of your farm is easily dealt with in certification.  Fish waste is not treated as manure.  According to a letter received from a large organic certifier, “The NOP (National Organic Program) Standards specifically exclude all aquatic animals from the definition of livestock and since the definition of manure only pertains to material produced by livestock, fish waste, as produced in an aquaponic system is not determined to be raw manure and there are no pre-harvest interval requirements.”   

That was a bit hard to read, but effectively, is says that fish poop is not ‘manure’!  Manure is the basis for many rules in both food safety and organics.  I have this documented.

Farmers around the world are uncomfortable and downright angry with food safety’s increased regulation, extra work, and extra expense.  It feels unreasonable when crop quality is how the farm survives.  Why should a farmer report how much water they use when farming is much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears?  Water use must be “just right” for a quality crop. That is not the only regulation that’s frustrating.  Many of those rules were designed for farms in less developed regions, but they still apply to every farm worldwide program.

Buyers are educated in safe food. They demand it.  Large retailers and crop brokers demand a food safety certificate from processors who demand it from farms.  If that has not yet reached your farm, believe me, it will. 

So how do you meet all the rules and stay in business?  How do you know what is required, what your choices are, and what will work best for your situation?  I can tell you what I did to cover my cherry orchard when it became required in 2012, and how I’ve moved forward. 

First, let’s review program options.

NATIONAL  ORGANIC  PROGRAM  (NOP) 

Organic certification is a choice that may increase your profit line.  It is not a food safety program, but many required steps are duplicated in food safety.  When following a food safety and organic program “do it once and use it twice” is an honest win for all.

The National Organic Program certifies crops grown with no prohibited substances such as most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Organic crops offer consumer health benefits and often sell for higher prices than conventional crops. An annual audit is required.  Organic farming on aquaponic farms is quite simple. Use only pre-approved materials and additives, keep good records, maximize biological activity and other techniques to manage weeds, insects and diseases.

FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT (FSMA) 

FSMA is the only legally required food safety program that applies to certain crops grown in or imported to the U.S.  Crops eaten raw that do not go through a processing “kill step” such as cooking are covered by this rule.  The list of covered crops is long.  Crops which do go through a “kill step” are not required to follow the FSMA. 

  1. The first rule to recognize is that at least one person per farm must have earned a “Produce Safety Alliance” certificate and act as the trainer for the farm’s workers.    This is the total of all crops, human, and animal feed – not just “ready to eat” crop income.
  2. Farms” required to meet the rule include may grow, handle, process and/or store crops.
  3. Crops typically eaten raw, such as cherries, but sold 100% to a processor using a “kill step” (cooking, for instance) may become FSMA exempt.
  4. Water testing rules, as defined by FSMA, are under challenge from the farming industry and are “on hold for further review”. (Food safety certification also requires water testing.)
  5. A.P. certified farms may be less likely to be FSMA inspected.
  6. Farms with 3 year averaged annual income under $25,000, are FSMA exempt.
  7. Every farm has a “trainer” who attended a FSMA training course. They are responsible for on-farm FSMA training.

 

FOOD SAFETY CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

You many notice food safety program names tend to end in G.A.P.  This is the acronym for Good Agricultural Practices.  The alphabetical program list that follows is really where your choices begin.  You will choose ONE food safety program. 

CANADAGAP is a well-accepted Canadian food safety program. There is annual fee, but commonly only a 4-year audit cycle.  Aquaponic farmers were at a loss over CanadaGAP’s 2019 decision to not certify aquaponic farms as of 2020Canadian farmers can jump this hurdle by certifying under GLOBALG.A.P. IFA.

  • GLOBALA.P. is the most widely accepted, GFSI approved food safety certification program in the world, with more than with more than two-hundred thousand certifications in 135 countries. GLOBALG.A.P. certified farms take very few extra steps to meet FSMA rules.  Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) is the most often required, top level food safety certification for aquaculture, fruit and vegetable farms and covers growing, harvesting, and handling (washing, sorting, packing, storing, etc.).  GLOBALG.A.P. certified sites meet the universal food safety standards endorsed and accepted by the largest retailers worldwide.  An annual audit required.
  • PRIMUS-GFS is a well-respected GFSI approved food safety certification program. Primus GFS certified sites meet the universal food safety standards endorsed and is accepted by the largest retailers worldwide. They have something over twenty-thousand current certifications.  An annual audit required.
  • SQF is a GFSI approved food safety certification program that offers certification to confirm an organization produces, processes, prepares and handles food products to the highest possible standards globally. Emphasis seems to be placed on certifying large processing facilities.   This author is not aware of any aquaponic farms certified under this food safety standard but it does appear to be possible.  An annual audit required.
  • USDA GAP HARMONIZED standard is approved and accepted by many retailers who require a GFSI certified standard. Audits are performed in (at least) the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.  Aquaponics may only certify under the Harmonized Program. An annual audit required.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS SOMETIMES REQUIRED BY CROP BUYERS

  • SOP – STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES are written performance guides for each farm and facility process. SOP’S are a requirement for organic certification and some large crop buyers. Audits may or may not be required by the crop buyer.
  • HACCP – HAZARD ANALYSIS AND CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS “pinpoints” each farm process with a high food safety risk, performs an analysis of the risk and creates a management plan to ensure the problem does not happen. This is required by some crop buyers in addition to FSMA, GLOBALA.P. and /or National Organic Program Certification.
  • GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICES are similar to the SOP and HACCP above. It ensures products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards by minimizing risks.  This program often goes hand-in-hand with HACCP. Audits may or may not be required by your buyer.

IN MY EXPERIENCE

In 2012 I was required to GLOBALG.A.P certify my cherry crop. Those regulations did not include a single instruction.  How is a busy farmer, already wearing a dozen hats, supposed to get this job done with no guidance?. I outlined all 325 pages of complicated, overly academic regulation, page by page and the result was a rough food safety program.  My packhouse field man saw what I had done and had me to help the rest of his growers.  The gratitude for that training paved my path into food safety support.

Meeting the rules of food safety is not that hard when you know what they are.  The top points are to:

  • Protect your crop from cross contamination.
  • Protect your workers and the environment
  • Keep the farm clean and organized.
  • Keep track of certain jobs.
  • Answer it, now prove it is my mantra when setting up food safety.

By:  Juli Ogden, The Farm Plan President,  Farmer and GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer

In an industry known for its complexity Juli is pioneering a way of doing things that is within reach of every farmer, no matter how small or how large. (BM)

On and off the farm with Juli Ogden:  Juli is happily married, still works on her farm but focuses on food safety consulting and public presentation.  She was a professional real estate expert, author and radio show host for Business Talk Radio and Lifestyle Talk Radio.  At the age of 32, Juli was named Washington State Small Businesswoman of the Year.  Juli is an industry acknowledged food safety expert and public speaker.

Do you want to support Aquaponics?

The Aquaponics Association is a nonprofit that cultivates aquaponics through education, advocacy, and connection. Please consider a General Membership to support this cause.

Benefits of Membership include:

  • Regular newsletters
  • Access to Aquaponics Association Members Forum with chat groups and direct messages
  • Ability to participate in working groups to move aquaponics forward: 1) Commercial Aquaponics; 2) Community Aquaponics; 3) Aquaponics in STEM Education; and 4) Aquaponics Research
  • Exclusive web content like checklists, best practices, conference presentations and full conference videos from top experts
  • Legislative & Regulatory Updates
  • Special Member Discounts

Membership fees also support:

  • Development and promotion of materials to educate the public about the benefits and opportunities of aquaponics!
  • Development of industry standards and best practices
  • Infrastructure to connect aquaponic growers from around the world
  • Strategic partnerships to expand aquaponics into new fields
  • Ability to speak with one voice to policy-makers and regulators on issues like Organic certification, food safety certification, and agriculture policy
  • Resources to improve aquaponic growers’ skills, growing capacity, and business opportunities
  • Resources to cultivate and develop aquaponics as an emerging green industry

Learn more: General Membership

STEM / Community Discount — 2020 Aquaponics Conference

 

The Early Bird has officially lost his mind!

Early Bird Conference Ticket PLUS One-year STEM Membership = $99

 

The Aquaponics Association offers discount conference tickets to STEM educators, students, non-profits, and community growers to fulfill our Mission of expanding aquaponics among all growers and populations. It is vitally important that teachers, students, and small, local growers have access to the aquaponics community and shared knowledge.

STEM & Community Discount Tickets for the 2020 Aquaponics Conference are $129 for the full three-day conference. Please see the ticket package, below. Early Bird prices of $79 are available until September 22.

The ticket includes:

  • ONE ticket for full admission to the three-day Virtual Aqua-Conference October 16, 17, 18
  • Access to all four Learning Tracks – STEM Education, Commercial, Community, and Research
  • Access to Aquaponics Virtual Booths featuring the best products and services in the aquaponics industry
  • Access to 100% of conference video content online in ALL LEARNING TRACKS through the end of 2020
  • Access to all conference visual presentation files through the end of 2020
  • Access to Direct Messaging, Chat Rooms, Live Polls from Presenters, and Virtual Cocktail Hour!
  • Ability to ask LIVE QUESTIONS to Aquaponics Experts from around the world!
  • Ability to make one 30-second recorded “Virtual Handshake” to network and meet new aqua-friends!

ELIGIBILITY
The following individuals are eligible for STEM / Community Discount Tickets:

  • K-12 students and college undergraduate students (***may be eligible for free tickets)
  • K-12 teachers or educational professionals
  • Staff of non-profit organizations with less than 15 employees
  • Personal growers and farmers with less than 15 employees

DIRECTIONS
Please fill out this 2-minute form: 2020 STEM / Community Discount Application

We will email you a code and a link to the STEM / Community Discount Ticket purchase page.

Virtual Aqua-Conference Dates: Oct 16, 17, 18

(Putting Out Fruits – 2019 Annual Conference at Kentucky State University)

The Aquaponics Association Board of Governors is excited to announce that our 2020 Virtual Aqua-Conference will be held October 16, 17, and 18. 

The Conference will unite growers from around the world to share information and ideas to help us all grow better. We will collaborate and discuss how we can work together to expand the practice of aquaponics. Four learning tracks – Commercial, Community, Research, and STEM Education – will present focused content for growers of all shapes and sizes!

Do you want to present at the Conference? We need to hear from all voices and all level of growers! Presentations can be live or pre-recorded, and from as short as 15 minutes to as long as an hour and a half. Click here:

Submit a Presentation Proposal

Run The World Virtual Events Platform

We are sad we will not be convening in person this year, but excited to be moving to the Run The World Virtual Events Platform! This cutting-edge platform can host multiple session formats and allow guests to interact and make new connections! What a way to expand aquaponics to new frontiers!

Session formats include talks, panel discussions, virtual tours, and fireside chats! Guests can comment and ask questions in real time, and interact with direct messaging and chat rooms!

Stay tuned for ticket info and programming. Email us at [email protected] with questions.

Click here: Submit a Presentation Proposal

Do you want to support Aquaponics?

The Aquaponics Association is a nonprofit that expands the practice of aquaponics through education, advocacy, and connection. Please consider a General Membership to support this cause.

Benefits of Membership include:

  • Regular newsletters
  • Access to Aquaponics Association Members Forum with chat groups and direct messages
  • Ability to participate in working groups to move aquaponics forward: 1) Commercial Aquaponics; 2) Community Aquaponics; 3) Aquaponics in STEM Education; and 4) Aquaponics Research
  • Exclusive web content like checklists, best practices, conference presentations and full conference videos from top experts
  • Legislative & Regulatory Updates
  • Special Member Discounts

Membership fees also support:

  • Development and promotion of materials to educate the public about the benefits and opportunities of aquaponics!
  • Development of industry standards and best practices
  • Infrastructure to connect aquaponic growers from around the world
  • Strategic partnerships to expand aquaponics into new fields
  • Ability to speak with one voice to policy-makers and regulators on issues like Organic certification, food safety certification, and agriculture policy
  • Resources to improve aquaponic growers’ skills, growing capacity, and business opportunities
  • Resources to cultivate and develop aquaponics as an emerging green industry

Learn more: General Membership

USDA Soilless Urban Ag Survey

Researchers at San Diego State University are conducting an important survey to understand soilless urban agriculture’s economic, environmental and social benefits, as well as the regional and local barriers and opportunities influencing the industry’s development.

Take the Survey: Systems Analysis of Hydroponic, Aquaponic, and Aeroponic Food Production in the United States

The goal is to understand the factors influencing the industry and the support it needs to be more successful and impactful. The survey is funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture program.  Researchers need to hear from ALL participants in soilless food production businesses and organizations including farmers, CEOs, owners, directors, managers, scientists, volunteers, etc.

The success of this project depends on this survey reaching as many people who work in soilless urban agriculture as possible! If you grow in soilless urban systems please take 10 minutes to complete the survey! 

Take the Survey: Systems Analysis of Hydroponic, Aquaponic, and Aeroponic Food Production in the United States

Do you want to support Aquaponics?

The Aquaponics Association is a nonprofit that expands the practice of aquaponics through education, advocacy, and connection. Please consider a General Membership to support this cause.

Benefits of Membership include:

  • Regular newsletters
  • Access to Aquaponics Association Members Forum with chat groups and direct messages
  • Ability to participate in working groups to move aquaponics forward: 1) Commercial Aquaponics; 2) Community Aquaponics; 3) Aquaponics in STEM Education; and 4) Aquaponics Research
  • Exclusive web content like checklists, best practices, conference presentations and full conference videos from top experts
  • Legislative & Regulatory Updates
  • Special Member Discounts

Membership fees also support:

  • Development and promotion of materials to educate the public about the benefits and opportunities of aquaponics!
  • Development of industry standards and best practices
  • Infrastructure to connect aquaponic growers from around the world
  • Strategic partnerships to expand aquaponics into new fields
  • Ability to speak with one voice to policy-makers and regulators on issues like Organic certification, food safety certification, and agriculture policy
  • Resources to improve aquaponic growers’ skills, growing capacity, and business opportunities
  • Resources to cultivate and develop aquaponics as an emerging green industry

Learn more: General Membership