Please call or email your two senators and one representative and ask them to Support the new USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
In the next week or two, Congress will decide whether or not to fund the USDA’s new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The Office was created by the 2018 Farm Bill but still needs to be funded.
This new Office is intended to be the USDA’s central hub to handle aquaponics, hydroponics, vertical growing, and other new growing methods. It will coordinate matters for these growers and offer new research and funding opportunities. (See Summary)
1 – Identify your two federal senators and one federal representative.
2 – Find the phone number of their Washington, DC office on their website.
3 – Call each Office and ask to speak to the staff member that handles agriculture policy. [You may not get to speak to the staff, they may ask you to leave a message or give you an email address. Wherever you land, use the message below.]
4 – Tell them you’d like the Senator / Representative to Support the new USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production created by the 2018 Farm Bill. If you’re feeling chatty you can tell them what you do and why your work is important.
Thanks for supporting urban and innovative agriculture, future generations will thank you!
At the Putting Out Fruits conference last month, we all agreed that it was important for our community to make a positive statement asserting the food safety status of aquaponics. Part of the motivation was that a major food safety certifier, Canada GAP, recently announced it will revoke certification for aquaponic farms in 2020, citing unfounded concerns.
The withdrawal of aquaponics eligibility from this certifier has already set back commercial operations in Canada.
We believe that the aquaponics community must make a positive statement asserting our food safety credentials to ensure that policy and large-scale decisions that affect our future are based on concrete science, not unfounded concerns.
We are collecting signatures on the 2019 Aquaponics Food Safety Statement from farms, research institutions, schools, and other organizations that stand behind it and would like your voice to be heard.
If you would like your farm or organization to sign on, click the link below. The deadline to sign the statement is November 15, 2019. Once we collect all the signatures we will publish and broadcast the statement, and ask you to do the same.
Sick of the same old TV shows? You’re in luck! It’s the Aquaponics News Roundup! The fishtank pictured above is from FoodChain in Lexington, KY, a non-profit aquaponic farm we toured at the September Putting Out Fruits Conference. Now for the news…
A lot’s happening in the world of aquaponics! This installment of the News Roundup is focused on a non-profit’s mission to support disenfranchised youth, a look at how the industry can broaden food access in urban areas, and a corporate grant awarded to support a K-12 aquaponic initiatives.
The Report “showcases the groundswell of people transforming our food systems in beneficial, dynamic, and significant ways, through nature- and people-based solutions. It provides a Food Systems Transformation Toolkit built on the principles of renewability, health, equity, resilience, diversity, and interconnectedness as a guide for discussion and collective action.”
Aquaponics is a powerful tool to transform food systems because – compared to soil agriculture – it uses less inputs, emits less waste, and can be practiced in any environment. Aquaponics is still evolving and has yet to reach mainstream status, but it will begin to play a greater role as we struggle to feed a growing global population at the same time as we confront resource and environmental challenges.
The aquaponics industry keeps on building momentum! In this “News Roundup” we’re emphasizing the financial impact that the industry will have in the near future, an educational initiative to develop both students and the community, and the growing intersection between cannabis and aquaponics.
The Aquaponics Association’s Jesse Samento and Loic Le Goueff team up to consult for Cañon City High School’s ‘Classroom of the Future:’
Since 2013, FoodChain has been operating an indoor aquaponic farm in an abandoned bread factory in order to demonstrate how cities can turn underutilized, industrial spaces into food production.
Their farm uses a deep-water recirculating system with 7,000 gallons of water, 500 tilapia, and thousands of plants.
Says FoodChain: “Our farm is special: although we are able to cover 1/3 of our operating costs with the food we produce here, we are also able to do a lot of research and best practice development for other producers! Being a nonprofit frees us up to make resources like our Barrelponics Manual and Microgreen Cost Analysis available to anyone interested in pursuing aquaponics!”
After the tour, we will have social time / open dinner in a social area of Lexington, KY, before buses take us 45 minutes back to Frankfort for more socializing and aquaponic revelry!
There are still a few tickets and vendor tables left to the Putting Out Fruits Conference, head to the Conference Homepage to get your tickets ASAP!
Commercial Aquaponics is one of the learning tracks at the upcoming Putting Out Fruits Conference, September 20-22 at Kentucky State University. This learning track features presentations and panel discussions intended to boost the aquaponics industry as a whole, and to give individual growers the tools they need to succeed in the market. See the Putting Out Fruits Program.
Some major topics of the Commercial Aquaponics Learning Track are:
-food safety and organic certification;
-commercial aquaponics industry survey;
-monetizing fish and shrimp;
-designing and installing an aquaponic system for profit;
-international commercial aquaponics case studies;
-specialty crops in aquaponics; and
-aquaponic cannabis and hemp cultivation.
This track also features breakout discussions that allow all participants to discuss their views on the commercial aquaponics industry, and how we can work together to make the road easier for everyone.
Are you interested in supporting free and discounted conference tickets for STEM educators, students, non-profits, and community growers? Please lend a hand with aPutting Out Fruits Sponsorship! Sponsorships start as low as $250 and go a long way to making the Conference accessible to ALL Aquapioneers!
Saturday afternoon of the Putting Out Fruits Conference, participants will split into groups and rotate through multiple sites and demonstrations at the Kentucky State University Aquaculture Research Center. These stations include:
-The Aquaponics Demonstration Greenhouse;
-Fish Disease Overview;
-Insect and Pest Management Demonstration;
-Saltwater Shrimp Tour;
-Fish Processing Tutorial;
-Hatchery and Ponds Tour; and
-Replicated Aquaponics Research Tour.
Are you interested in supporting free and discounted conference tickets for STEM educators, students, non-profits, and community growers? Please lend a hand with a Putting Out Fruits Sponsorship! Sponsorships start as low as $250 and go a long way to making the Conference accessible to ALL Aquapioneers!
The aquaponics industry is constantly adapting as it revolutionizes how, and where, local foods are produced. For this installment of the “News Roundup” we’re highlighting several interesting articles centered around industry leaders, crop diversification, and updates on the USDA’s support for this rapidly expanding sector.
USDA grants $81k to help strengthen student involvement in localized food production:
The primary goals and/or vision of this association are as follows: To promote the benefits of aquaponic growing; To educate the general consumer and food safety officials about the inherent safety of aquaponically grown food; and To dispel myths and rumors about aquaponically grown food.
The vision for this organization is that it will also create educational materials, facilitate an aquaponic speaker’s bureau and act as a resource or liaison to the press. Eventually it could also possibly offer legal and insurance assistance and standards and certification for our rapidly growing commercial aquaponic industry.