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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Aquaponic Farming Workshop to take place in Vian

STILLWATER, Okla. – Entrepreneurs who wish to help meet the growing demand for fresh, local vegetables and fish can learn how to do so at the upcoming Aquaponic Farming Workshop to get the latest research-based information on this growing trend.

Slated Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Vian, Oklahoma, this free workshop is geared toward those who are interested in starting or expanding an aquaponics business. The workshop will take place at the Blackgum Community Center, 449458 Highway 100.

Aquaponic farming is defined as the combination of aquaculture, which is raising fish, and hydroponics, which is the soilless growing of plants, together in one integrated system, said James Arati, business development coordinator for Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension.

“One of the great things about aquaponics is it can be done anywhere and helps keep up with the growing demand for healthy foods like fish and vegetables,” Arati said. “Crops are grown with less water and less labor, as well as no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. In addition, aquaponics is done in greenhouses, which provides year-round production where temperatures are controlled and comfortable.”

In the growing process, fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water in which the fish live.

The other elements to the growing equation are the microbes, also known as the nitrifying bacteria, and the composting red worms that thrive in the growing media.

“The microbes convert ammonia from the fish waste into nitrites, then into nitrates, and the solids into vermicompost, which is food for the plants,” he said.

During the workshop, participants will learn more about the business and investment opportunities aquaponics farming offers. They will learn about what is needed to start a business and how to work the business to make it profitable. Attendees also will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with multiple lenders to pitch their projects and learn more about business financing.

Registration is free and includes lunch and materials, but attendees are asked to register by calling Kyle Robinson at 405-273-7683, or via email at kyle.robinson@okstate.edu by Oct. 6.

For more information about the workshop, contact Arati at 405-321-4774 or via email at jarati@okstate.edu.  

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 Trisha Gedon
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
136 Agriculture North
Stillwater, OK  74078
405-744-3625 (phone)
405-744-5739 (fax)
trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000