Aquaponic Farming – 8-month training course
Starts Saturday, October 13, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
At WEI’s Amador Hill Farm, 15715 River Road, North Branch, MN 55056
Class meets every second Sunday of month, from October – May from 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Registration Fee: $250
Aquaponic Farming is the art and science for the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, re-circulating closed-loop ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish wastes to plant nutrients. WEI’s aquaponic certificate training is an eight-month hands-on course which will follow an annual aquaponic cycle, from fingerlings to mature yellow perch.
The class will begin with the basics of aquaponics and aquaculture. Each month we will explore a new topic of study as it relates to aquaponics. The topics will range from aquaponic water chemistry and fish ecology, design and equipment for aquaponic tubs, fish and plant health, planting techniques for growing aquaponic vegetables, system maintenance and equilibrium, equipment resources, lighting/energy efficiency, spawning and fish ribbons, harvesting and market planning, and regulations for aquaponic farming in Minnesota. Graduates of this course will earn a Certificate in Aquaponic Farming and will be able to apply for job positions in the growing aquaponic industry or pursue further training and degrees in the field of aquaculture or join in world-wide aquaponic protein and nutrient production organizations working nutrition impoverished communities.
Chad Hebert has owned and operated the Urban Farm Project for more than 10 years. The Urban Farm Project successfully raised more than 30,000 pounds of yellow perch and almost 50,000 pounds of vegetables. For the past seven years, Chad has participated in a cooperative research agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Science. Chad has completed his HACCP training for both AIS and seafood processing. The Urban Farm Project was involved in a number of aquaponic projects including the project at WEI. Chad is currently working with EPNI to coordinate and implement a larger scale operation. Chad Hebert started the Urban Farm Project with the belief that there was a need to build sustainable food systems that could be available to all people while protecting the planet we live on.