Lakeland University and Nelson and Pade Bring Aquaponics to Malawi

Four Lakeland University students, two LU professors and a Lakeland graduate are busy preparing for an incredible collaborative effort, one that will culminate in Africa nearly two months from now.

When completed, this unique student-faculty research and performance project will be responsible for feeding people in the nation of Malawi for years to come through the fascinating technology of aquaponics.

The official title of this two-month initiative is, “The Business of Science: Empowering Entrepreneurship through the Design and Installation of a Start-Up Aquaponics Farm in Malawi, Africa.”

Read the full article in Lakeland Universities, ‘The Blog’.

Edible Madison Features Nelson and Pade, Inc.®

The Summer 2017 Issue of Edible Magazine was recently published, and writer Vanessa Herald has an article titled, “Eating Close to Home with Farm-Raised Fish”, with a feature on Nelson and Pade, Inc.®.

Nelson and Pade is more than just a fish farm; it’s a valuable member of the community. The Montello site is half commercial fishery and half demonstration site to educate an international audience about successful aquaponics production. Everyone from small-scale home producers to future commercial growers participate in tours, classes and the Nelson and Pade Grower Program to learn how to use an aquaponics system with success. The site is also shared by the UW-Stevens Point Aquaponics Innovation Center, researching crop diversification for industry advancement and providing opportunities for students to earn an aquaponics certificate and pursue a profession in the field.

“We’re proud to deliver a high-quality product grown right here,” says Nelson, who knows every input used in their farming system. She knows first-hand their fish are raised in an environment with impeccable water quality and using non-GMO feed. Because of this, she says, “The result is clean, great-tasting fish that is also a choice for sustainability.”

Read the full article

The Future of Farming

Catalina Margulis of the Harrowsmith, written for Canadians by Canadians, recently published an article on ‘The Future of Farming’, featuring Nelson and Pade, Inc. and one of our growers, AquaFarms at The Mississauga Food Bank in Canada.

Marqulis writes:

What does every kid learn in school? That to grow anything, you need seed, soil, water and sun. But what if you removed soil from the equation? Wouldn’t the possibilities be almost endless?

And now that’s becoming a reality. A form of agriculture that combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (growing plants in water), aquaponics is an interesting alternative for cold-weather nations like ours, as well as urban centres and community growers, as Ontario’s Mississauga Food Bank is showing.

“I read an article online about a year ago about aquaponics, and realized it had potential to help solve a challenge at the food bank,” says Christopher Hatch, executive director of The Mississauga Food Bank. After more research, Hatch hired Wisconsin-based aquaponics consulting firm Nelson and Pade, Inc. to help him set up a system at his facility. “I liked the idea of growing year-round in Canada, with our weather, and it being so cold in winter,” says Hatch. “This way, we can grow in the warehouse and control the environment.”

“The Mississauga Food Bank is a very innovative use of our technology because it’s using aquaponics to feed people who don’t have fresh food—it’s a great new direction for food banks,” says Rebecca Nelson, co-founder of Nelson and Pade. “We have the longest history and most experience in aquaponics. We provide growers with everything they need, including training, so they can be successful both short and long term.”

Read the full article

WI Senator Works a Day at Nelson and Pade, Inc.

On Monday, June 5th, Nelson and Pade, Inc.® welcomed a temporary member to their staff, Wisconsin Senator Patrick Testin (24th District). As part of the Senator’s “On the Job with Patrick Testin” monthly series, Senator Testin donned a Nelson and Pade Aquaponics t-shirt and spent a full day working alongside our staff members.

In an effort to highlight local job opportunities and demonstrate the need for innovative technologies in sustainable agriculture and fresh food production, Senator Testin spent the day working in a variety of capacities at our facility on Montello, WI. The morning was spent in our state-of-the-art greenhouse where the daily tasks of operating an aquaponics system within a controlled environment were completed. Senator Testin, under the direction of our Manager of Grower Training and Support Tim Dobbins, netted and transported mature tilapia into our fish purge system. Greenhouse Assistant, Carolyn Hamre worked with Senator Testin harvesting and packaging a variety of our all-natural leafy greens, which they then delivered to local restaurant clients, Oyster Crackers and Rendezvous in downtown Montello. Before breaking for a team lunch, Senator Testin made sure all of the tilapia were fed. He measured out the appropriate amount of feed for each fish tank in our commercial system and fish nursery system, and discovered that you do not always stay dry when feeding!

One of the benefits Nelson and Pade, Inc.® offers their employees is Team events and lunches. To celebrate our ‘new employee’, we hosted a Team Lunch, complete with freshly harvested leafy greens (courtesy of Senator Testin’s hard work) and mouthwatering pizza from Rendezvous. During lunch, Senator Testin had the opportunity to meet UWSP interns, Colton and Lucy, and learn about the research that is going on at the UWSP Aquaponics Innovation Center on the Nelson and Pade campus.

After lunch, Senator Testin went straight to work in our office. Email replies went out with our Receptionist, Terri Grall, and a system design and production list was created with our CAD Designer, Ron Arndt and Operations Manager, Andrew DeWitt.

Each day our greenhouse staff is seeding, transplanting and harvesting, so it wasn’t long before Senator Testin was called back out to the greenhouse. The plant sites that he harvested earlier in the day needed to be filled, so transplanting was the next task at hand. We also had fish from last week’s purge that needed to be filleted, and we knew Senator Testin was the right man for the job!

Senator Testin finished his work day in our manufacturing shop with Aquaponics Technicians, Bryan Dishman, Matt O’Connell, Mike Keeran and Jon Fischer. Parts were pulled, labeled and bagged for a home food production order and tanks were drilled for an international commercial order.

We were honored to host Senator Patrick Testin at our facility once again, and it was a delight to have him join our Nelson and Pade, Inc.® Team for the day.

Meet Senator Patrick Testin

Job Opportunities with Nelson and Pade, Inc.®