Aquaponics lures Wisconsin’s youth into farming

Intern Colton Branville harvests saugeyes after a year reared in various aquaponics systems at the UWSP. Younger people are especially intrigued by aquaponics’ sustainability as a method for food production, says UWSP professor of Fisheries and Biology, Chris Hartleb

Aquaponics’ green credentials and sustainability is attracting Winconsin’s young generation into farming, says Chris Hartleb, professor of Fisheries Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP).

Hartleb, who follows the state’s aquaculture industry, says an influx of newer, younger fish farm owners and the rapid rise of aquaponic farms is spurring industry growth. “Generally, the growth of Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry has been stagnant for the past 10 years with as many new businesses opening as others closing,” he tells Aquaculture North America (ANA).

In collaboration with aquaponics industry leader Nelson and Pade Inc, the Aquaponics Master Class has now educated over 1,400 students from over 101 countries and all 50 states since the course began in 1997.

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