BY ELIZABETH PARKS
IN A WORLD where sustainable agriculture becomes more necessary every year, aquaponics serves as a way for us to feed theplanet. Aquaponics is a versatile sector of agriculture with fruitfulopportunities on both small and large scales.
“Aquaponics systems can produce substantial amounts of foodfrom a small area,” said Dr. David Cline, Associate Extension Professorat Auburn University’s School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and AquaticSciences. Dr. Cline said aquaponics can be accomplished on anyscale, but a mastery of aquaponics takes both time and effort. As acurrent trend in society, many consumers aregravitating towards self-sustaining practices.
People are intrigued by the ability to raisefish and vegetables for their families right intheir backyard.
Aquaponics combines the best aspectsof aquaculture and hydroponics. This setupallows most aquaponics systems to beself-sustaining.
The Aquaculture Building at the Sunbelt Ag Expo will highlight the latestinformation and technology in the aquaculture industry. Visitors will gain one-on-one experience with all things related toaquaponics.
The interactive exhibits, articulate experts,live animals, and recipe tastings attract manyvisitors. Whether you are hoping to start youraquaponics business venture or are just generally interested in the aquaponics industry, there is something for you.
For those who enjoy a hands-on approach, visitors can see andtouch turtles, fish, and insects. The kid fish pond is a kid-favoritewhere they can practice casting. Visitors can witness small-scaleaquaponics set-ups.
Stop by to deepen your knowledge at the featured seminars!
■ “Getting started with aquaponics” — Dive headfirst into theaquaponics world.
■ “Managing ponds for great fishing” — Listen in for tips on
keeping your pond stocked.
■ “Aquatic weed management” — Learn the need-to-knowpractices for aquatic spaces.
■ “Safe, easy and delicious ways to prepare U.S. Farm-raisedCatfish” — Cooking demonstration presented by Chef Chris Wilton.
■ “Controlling nuisances” — Featuring pond wildlife, beavers,otters, birds, and more.
■ “Common aquatic critters” — Spotlighting numerous liveturtles and a variety of pond insects.
Seminars will be presented by southeastern U.S. experts.Chef Chris Wilton of Wilton Catering in Loachapoka, Alabama isrenowned for his culinary expertise with U.S. farm-raised catfish. Catfish are one of the most popularfish species raised in aquaponics systems in the U.S.Mr. Stan Arington, a man with over 25 years of aquaculture teaching and turtle wrangling experience,will be on-site.
Experts from Auburn University include Dr. DavidCline, 30 years of aquaculture, ornamental, and recreational pond management experience, boardmember of the World Aquaculture Society; Dr. RustyWright, 25+ years of fisheries and recreational pondmanagement; and Mr. Bence Carter, aquatic, forestry, wildlife, and natural resources.
Other featured experts include Dr. Gary Burtle, University of Georgia, Tifton, Ga., 30 + years of aquaculture,pond management, and natural resource experience;Dr. Chuck Cichra, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.,30+ years of aquaculture, pond, and natural resourcesmanagement; and Ethan Edge, Edge’s Aquatic Services,Soperton, Ga., family-owned consulting business withWith a combined 150 years of expertise, these experts are eagerto share their passions and knowledge of aquatics. Experts at thebuilding will be on standby to answer all visitor questions.
Stop by the Aquaponics Building anytime to engage with theexperts and see the interactive exhibits. A schedule of all seminarsand happenings will be posted on the Aquaponics Building and inthe show directory.
Rooted in Aquaculture