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October aquaponic certificate class open to the public

10/6/2015

WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 6, 2015) – The public is invited to participate in a one-day aquaponic certificate class hosted at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, OK. The class will be presented by EOSC faculty in conjunction with Symbiotic Aquaponic, a nationally-recognized company.

Since installing an aquaponic system in their greenhouse, EOSC has experienced an increase in public interest. Aquaponic agriculture is an innovative method of growing all-natural produce and fish using a re-circulating water system. Using this approach, water from the fish habitat provides all the necessary nutrients for growing a variety of plants such as cherry tomatoes, leafy greens, herbs, strawberries, and even flowers. As a result the plants clean the water for the fish.

Kaben Smallwood, Symbiotic Aquaponic CEO and co-owner said, “Aquaponics is especially valuable in places like Oklahoma where drought and water-shortages are constant concerns.” According to Smallwood, their patent-pending aquaponic systems use approximately one/95th the water of traditional agriculture. Due to the reduced water usage as well as increased crop yields, and expanded growing season there has been a growing interest in aquaponics in the region.

“Aquaponics can be done at home by the hobbyist home-gardener or on an even larger commercial scale by skilled farmers”, said Smallwood. “However, it does require knowing what you’re doing and some understanding to do it right.” Based on the interest in aquaponics and the need for continuing education, Smallwood and EOSC are cooperating to provide the first one-day, aquaponic certificate class in Oklahoma.

The one-day class will provide an introduction to aquaponic topics such as system designs, scientific principles of aquaponics, and the selection of plant and fish species. Participants will engage in classroom discussions and hands-on experience in the EOSC aquaponic greenhouse. All course materials will be provided on the day of the class. Participants will also sample produce from the aquaponic greenhouse for lunch

“We’re excited to bring aquaponics to Oklahoma,” Smallwood said. “There’s a real need for sustainable agriculture and access to nutritious foods to address Oklahoma’s problems like water
shortages, food deserts, and diabetes. I think people realize that and that’s part of why they’re interested.” Smallwood said the class is a good start towards positive, social changes in Oklahoma.

The class will be conducted at EOSC in Wilburton, Oklahoma on Oct. 17 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Registration for the event is open to the public and available online at www.symbioticaquaponic.com or by contacting Eastern Oklahoma State College at ksmallwood@eosc.edu. Standard registration for the class is $129.00 and includes materials, refreshments and a light lunch. Special group registration rates are available for groups of four or more. For more information please contact regina@symbioticaquaponic.com.

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