The Dogs Will Bark But the Caravan Marches on…This telling parable was shared with me quite a few years ago while talking with the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture about food…the lack of it as well as the technological advancements that would feed the world. He embraced the idea of aquaponics but warned of the impending backlash of a new technology with so much potential. He warned us of the naysayers and encouraged us to stand tall and be confident in what we were doing; be confident that we could and would make a difference, despite the vocal crowd who displays jealousy that others are achieving what they cannot.
A recent string of negative, ugly banter on Facebook about our company recently brought that conversation back to me with extreme clarity. A small group of misinformed people can do a lot of damage when they attack with no warrant. The comments of this particular group of individuals was so far from reality, that a public reply is appropriate.
The comments address the patents that Nelson and Pade, Inc.® has been issued for the design and methods of our Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® with ZDEP.® No, we didn’t patent aquaponics. We would never attempt that and it would not be allowed if we did. Most of the early research in aquaponics was funded by the US Government and can be traced back to Dr. James Rakocy and his associates at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). We always credit Dr. Rakocy for his work and contributions to this industry. I respect him and will always hold him in the highest regard. In short, we did not patent the UVI aquaponics system.
We engaged in many years of self-funded research to develop aquaponic systems and methods that grow more food than the original research designs. This we achieved. We’re not resting, though. We continue to advance our mission of food security through our technology. Our Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® with ZDEP® and our methods grow 6-8 times more vegetables than the UVI systems did, all with the same feed input. We applied for and earned the patents because of these advancements. In every industry, the innovators advance the technology and patents are granted for designs and methods that are truly unique. Patents are not granted for things that have been already done.
Currently, Nelson and Pade’s Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® are installed in 25 countries and nearly all 50 states. We have had people from 96 countries travel to our world-class aquaponics training facilities for our Aquaponics Master Class.® We offer long-term technical support to our customers that is second to none. We have developed a private-public partnership with the University of Wisconsin. Through that partnership we have shared our knowledge, experience and technology to create new educational opportunities and advance the research in aquaponics to a level that Dr. Rakocy only dreamed of, such as identifying beneficial bacteria through DNA testing to create even more efficient systems. We do this because we believe aquaponics can change the face of agriculture, can change the face of nutrition and can help to eliminate starvation around the world.
We wish all of the aquapreneurs the best of luck in their endeavors. If you want to do aquaponics, go for it. If you want to build and sell systems, more power to you. But if you want to copy what Nelson and Pade has developed and patented, in an effort to profit from it, you will hear from our attorneys. Simple as that.
We will continue to take the high road. We are proud of what we have achieved and what we do every day: providing people with the tools, technology and support that they need to get started and be successful in aquaponics.
If you want to hear it from someone else, check out these comments: