Recently, FarmHer visited Rebecca Nelson who, along with her husband, has quietly become a driving force in the aquaponics industry.
Armed with just a desire to grow their own food, the couple started a small hydroponic farm back in the ’80s. From there, they wanted to use fewer chemicals so that led them to aquaponics. The process results in high-quality fish and also high-quality vegetables that can be produced in the northern climate of Wisconsin 365 days a year. Today, what started as a science experiment has started an industry. In addition to a large commercial facility, Nelson and Pade also provide systems, training, and support for people who want to get started in aquaponics, around the world.
"My visit to Rebecca’s farm started in a building that looked like a greenhouse. I thought I would walk into a fishy-smelling place because they raise fish in tanks, but that was absolutely not the case! The clean and fresh smelling air met me at the door! Just inside I met Rebecca where she led me to the fish tanks. She explained that the large tanks each hold over 100 tilapia. The series of tanks allows for different sizes of fish. Each tank is hooked up to filters and pipes that cycle the water in and out. Rebecca feeds the fish, resulting in a little frenzy in the tank and even netted one out for me to see. She explained that she has always loved fish from a young age and that was part of the driving force behind the aquaponics systems", says a reporter.