Local resident and community activist Karen Schoen is looking for about 1,000 farmers in Washington, Holmes, Jackson, and Walton counties to participate in a pilot program she hopes will change the face of local agriculture.

“Our objective is to create business owners, not laborers,” said Schoen.

The multi-phase project is facilitated through the National Association of Small Farmers (NASF) and would serve as a cooperative of local landowners, giving them an opportunity to venture into the aquaponics discipline of agriculture.

“What this entails is teaching residents here the business of aquaponics,” she explained.

“Aquaponics is the method of growing crops and fish together in a re-circulating system. Tilapia fish are raised in a large tank of water and provide the needed nutrients. It’s a valued added system because the fish are relatively easy to raise and can also be marketed when they are mature.”

For full story and more, read the March 1 edition of the Washington County News.