Nelson and Pade, Inc., a Wisconsin company specializing in aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture, which are forms of recirculating farming, was honored to host a visit from Ben Brancel, Secretary of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Joan Ballweg, Wisconsin State Representative 41st Assembly District, on March 29, 2012. Company owners, Rebecca Nelson and John Pade shared their vision for developing aquaponics globally with Brancel and Ballweg as they toured the 5,000 sq. ft. demonstration greenhouse, where lettuce grows on floating rafts, tomato plants reach for the sky and fish swim in their roomy tanks.
Aquaponics is an eco-efficient method of growing fish and plants together in one system using constantly cleaned and recycled water in place of soil. These recirculating farms can be small scale, to grow fresh food for a family, or larger, to feed a village or community or can be built as a commercial enterprise (see these farms in action in our slideshows and videos. Nelson and Pade, Inc. offers aquaponic systems and growing supplies, training and workshops, consulting, information on aquaponics and tours of their aquaponics greenhouse in Wisconsin. They also recently started teaching a full college course on aquaponics at the University of Wisconsin.
John Pade, who like Secretary Brancel, grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, sees aquaponics as the future of agriculture. John Pade shares, “An aquaponic greenhouse can produce a substantial amount of fish and vegetables in a relatively small space. Therefore, you can feed people locally, eliminating the dependence on imported food and the high cost of transportation.”
Rebecca Nelson comments, “We are honored that Secretary Brancel and Representative Ballweg initiated the meeting with us, taking the time to learn about our ocmpany and the growing aquaponics industry. We appreciate their interest and willingness to learn about new and innovative businesses in the state of Wisconsin.”
In the past two years, Nelson and Pade, Inc. has hosted over 500 people from 48 US states and 23 countries as attendees of their 3-day aquaponics training workshops. Workshops are offered bi-monthly and are open to anyone interested in learning more about aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. Learn more here.