Community Supported Aquaponics Training Center
Community Supported Aquaponics Training Center
What would learning and training people in our community looked like if it was created for the community, by the community? This is exactly what we intend to find out by launching the first innovative model of its kind. Ingenuity Innovation Center and legendary aquaponics expert, Murray Hallam of Practical Aquaponics have agreed to come together to create and launch the first ever Community Supported Aquaponics Training Center in the world at the Ingenuity Innovation Center.
In October 2014, Hallam and Ingenuity agreed to partner and co-create developing this new groundbreaking model in hopes to bring knowledge and a helpful network to those who are interested in learning and getting involved in this new and emerging green industry.
“The reality is that every biome region is different,” states Aaron Imhof. “What may work well for one area, may not be able to be exactly replicable in another environment. This is why we feel it is so important to create pathways where people can share information and have it vetted and validated by a community so we can help others. This new industry holds lots of potential so there is plenty of room for everyone to get involved. By developing a new type of training center, we hope to connect with those who can help serve as a resource to communities across the globe.”
The foundation of this training center will begin by building from Hallam’s aquaponic knowledge and material. Hallam is currently working on a brand new aquaponic certification that will set the standard around aquaponics at the Australian Government level. No other body of work has been developed at this level. Ingenuity and Hallam wish to bring forth his work to the U.S. by making it available through this new community supported training center.
“Murray’s curriculum is absolutely stunning,” stated Kate Wildrick. “Working in the corporate world, I had a lot of experience developing training models and competencies. [Wildrick was involved in co-developing a strategic workforce planning model that the State of Delaware adopted and drove down through 20 state agencies.] He has done an incredible job. The timing is absolutely impeccable, as now the timing for aquaponics as a major vehicle for local food has arrived. I am so excited to partner with him and every day that passes, we see how our work together can truly bring benefit to all. It is an honor to help him pass on his legacy and knowledge by developing a model where together we can build on this incredible foundation that has been proven time and time again.
The new curriculum is designed to help build knowledge, skills and abilities (otherwise known as competencies) in people who are looking to work in aquaponic greenhouses. Approximately 70% of the training can be done online. However, the remaining 30% must be done on site at a training center to verify and validate that the student has mastered the skills and knowledge he/she has received.
“The entry-level certification for someone working in a greenhouse setting requires approximately 2 weeks of hands on training,” states Kate. “Right now, Murray’s location in Australia is the only other site people can go in the world to receive the training. In July, Ingenuity Innovation Center will be the launch the second training center. By working with industry partners, we plan on expanding the curriculum to create training around new leadership and business models that employ many of the triple-bottom line principles found in the B-Corp and benefit companies. We are mindfully choosing to help people create a sustainable lifestyle that creates benefit for all. This requires us to look at a whole other way of education and business. We believe it starts with community. Our goal is to create a replicable model and eventually have a portion of every training dollar purchased go towards launching other training centers across the globe.”
In addition to providing Hallam’s curriculum, Ingenuity still plans to host a variety of tours, classes and workshops to expose people to aquaponics. Knowledge that is developed from these events will directly feed back into helping strengthen the curriculum that is planned on being brought for to the U.S. standards.
Hallam expects to have his curriculum completed this year. However, it is not met with some significant challenges. As with any new body of work in an emerging field, it can come with many unexpected hurdles. By launching the new training center, Ingenuity and Hallam hope to generate funds that can help expedite the curriculum development. If you wish to help, please email us so you can learn how.