US (KS): Professor uses aquaponics to teach sustainability

Kansas State was built as a college of agriculture, but there is a smaller operation in the basement of Seaton Hall that can help communicate the work of producers to the consumers of the world, Stacy Hutchinson, professor of biological and agricultural engineering, said.

Hutchinson said she uses a single-barrel aquaponics system to help students learn about its use in sustainable farming practices.

Hutchinson said she oversees one barrel, but her system holds 250 gallons and it holds up to 200 pounds of fish once they’ve matured.

“There’s not much water left at that point, it’s just like a solid fish mass,” Hutchinson said.

In what she referred to as the “farmer’s market movement,” people are moving toward more niche or small-town operations that revolve around one-way consumerism and better education about food sourcing.

“You’ve got groups of people now that are producing food at scales that they’re probably not making a full living off of, but they’re connecting back in a way and producing sustainable, high-quality food product that can be sold locally,” Hutchinson said.

Read more at The Collegian (Olivia Bergmeier)

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