On Tuesday, July 15, 2015, we were honored to have a visit from the Wisconsin Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, who was accompanied by UW System Regent, Regina Milner. John Pade, UWSP Professor Dr. Chris Hartleb and I gave the tour of our new greenhouse facilities and the UWSP-Aquaponics Innovation Center. We were thrilled and honored to host this tour and to spend time with these two dynamic women. They were genuinely interested in the achievements of our company and the paths we have created for people around the world to achieve food sovereignty. Lt. Governor Kleefisch especially appreciated the healthy nature of what we do and grow, noting that fresh fish and vegetables grown without chemicals, pesticides or herbicides, are an ideal diet.
It is inspiring to see the Lt Governor’s willingness to learn about and understand the businesses of Wisconsin. In our case, we relocated from California in 2006 to grow our business in a state that was “Open for Business.” At that time, it was just John Pade and I (Rebecca Nelson). In late 2009 we purchased our current business property, which we occupied in early 2010. With just 2 employees then, we could see the potential for considerable growth for our company. Now have 22 employees and a global customer base.
The Lt. Governor thanked us for returning to Wisconsin to grow our business and for bringing people from around the world to attend our training classes in Montello, WI. The economic impact of our efforts in Wisconsin were not overlooked.
Another important factor recognized was the partnership that we have established with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, which has launched new educational and research opportunities that will have far reaching, positive impacts on the aquaponics industry. Regent Milner is a proponent of aquaponics and this public/private partnership. This was her second visit to our facilities and the new UWSP-Aquaponics Innovation Center, located in our greenhouse. Regent Milner was very interested in the research aspect and opportunities that the UWSP-AIC is providing to students.
Our partnership with UWSP was launched several years ago when, together with UWSP Professor of Biology, Dr. Chris Hartleb, the first University-level aquaponics course in the world was developed and is now offered every year at UWSP.
We do appreciate the Lt. Governor and UW System Regent Milner taking time out of their very busy schedules to visit us in Montello.