Nelson and Pade, Inc.® presents at ‘Farmer in the Classroom’

This week is National FFA Week and Nelson and Pade, Inc.® celebrated by spending a morning with some of our Future Farmers of America. We were honored to be invited to participate in the ‘Farmer in the Classroom’ lesson at Westfield Elementary School (WES) on Wednesday morning.

Paula Becker, AmeriCorps Farm to School Nutrition Educator, has been working with the 1st and 2nd grade classes at WES over the course of the past few weeks. For their wrap up lesson, Mrs. Becker invited local farmers to present to these students and share with them the variety of agriculture roles and the importance of agricultural education.

I had the pleasure of sharing with these inquisitive minds exactly what aquaponics is and the growing importance of food security for our future and theirs. Hands were flying in the bleachers with questions and comments. They couldn’t contain their excitement with the thought of being able to grow food without dirt! My presentation wrapped up with them all proclaiming they wanted to be aquaponic farmers when they grew up, and my heart could not have felt fuller than it did at the moment.

Our morning ended with samples of what the farmers grew. As the students savored their first bite of freshly harvested, aquaponically-grown lettuce, they shouted out comments of, “Refreshing” and “Delicious”. Each student started with a single leaf to taste, but they couldn’t get enough! The tote of greens I brought along was quickly emptied as they all went for handfuls of more.

 

It was a wonderful experience to step away from behind my desk and spend the morning educating our youth, and basking in their excitement and fascination. Thank you Westfield Elementary and Paula Becker for having me as your guest.

 

 

WI State Legislators Tour UWSP-AIC and Nelson and Pade, Inc.®

On Friday, February 10, all of us at Nelson and Pade, Inc.® were very honored to host a tour of distinguished guests. The group included our partners at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) and Wisconsin state legislators and staff.

From UWSP, Chris Cirmo, Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences, Dr. Chris Hartleb, Professor of Biology and Director of the Aquaponics Innovation Center (AIC) and Lisa Theo, Instructor of Geography, all joined us.

State Legislators, staff and guests included Senator Pat Testin, Tim Fiocchi (staff to Senator Petrowski), Rusty Schultz (staff to Majority Leader Steineke), Rep. Bob Kulp, Jason Mugnaini (chief of staff to Senator Cowles), Rep. Mary Felzkowski, Liz Portz (staff to Rep. Felzkowski), David Boardman (staff to Rep. Dave Murphy), Rep. Jeff Mursau and Don Sidlowski of Three Lakes High School Fab Labs.

Nelson and Pade Team members involved in the tour include Rebecca Nelson, Co-founder, Oliver Baysinger, Business Manager, Tim Dobbins, Manager of Grower Training and Support, Jannel Dunn, Sales and Event Coordinator and Carmen Gardner, Commercial Sales.

The tour demonstrated the public/private partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and our company, Nelson and Pade, Inc.®.  It was also a great opportunity for state legislators and their staff to learn about aquaponics, the research happening at the UWSP-AIC and the positive impact our company is having on the availability of fresh food, in Wisconsin and beyond.

We so appreciate the partnership that we have with UWSP as well as the opportunity to share our passion for aquaponic food production with our esteemed guests. We thank UWSP for organizing the tour and all of the guests for their time and interest in aquaponics.