In the News

Check out the articles below to learn all about what The Farmory has been up to recently! For full articles, click on the links or the images related to each article. 

Saving the Friday Fish Fry

WFRV – August 1, 2019

A non-profit is paving the way for local fish farming families to once again harvest perch in our state.

The decline of the wild fish population started in the 1980’s and has not rebounded.  Almost 100% of the perch on your plate at the local supper club is imported from Canada.

Now, a few tanks in an old military building could be the key to a new industry.

The Farmory has successfully hatched yellow perch in the first commercial, bio-secure, yellow perch fish hatchery in the state of Wisconsin.

By just the second year of operations, the hatchery will produce 500,000 yellow perch fingerlings per year. These fingerlings will be sold to aquaculture or aquaponics farms in our region with the aim of rebuilding perch stock across the region.

Want to eat salmon, trout, and tilapia from fish farmers and fishing boats? Wisconsinites have more options.

Journal Sentinel – July 23, 2019

When it comes to the food on our table, it’s easier than ever to make a connection to where it comes from in Wisconsin. That’s surprisingly true even when it comes to seafood.

Of course, there are plenty of sports fishermen here eating what they catch in our lakes, rivers and streams. But for those of us who may not fish, or for the times when you can’t, there are still plenty of accessible, and sustainable, options.

Good fish starts at the source, and here in Wisconsin, we’re at the forefront when it comes to sustainability, sourcing and fish.

Northern Wisconsin happens to be home to the nation’s largest aquaponics facility, Superior Fresh, where it is raising both Atlantic and steelhead salmon along with greens.

Numerous organizations, sponsors & donors help Farmory grow.

Numerous organizations, sponsors, and donors have helped us grow into what The Farmory is today! Today we want to give special shout-outs to three very important partnerships: UW-Green Bay and specifically the UW-Green Bay College of Science, Engineering, and Technology , WiSys and Woods and Waters Fish Farm. Without these partnerships, The Farmory would not be possible.

UWGB for their partnership in opening Wisconsin’s first research-based, full-scale year-round commercial fish hatchery. We couldn’t have accomplished all that we have without you!

WiSys granted The Farmory funding for our post-doctoral research associate, Dr. Ken Webb. Thank you to Dr. Webb and the funding from WiSys for helping us hatch and raise our yellow perch!

Woods & Waters Fish Farm provided us the egg skeins necessary to hatch our yellow perch. Thank you, Woods & Waters Fish Farm, for your donation that helped us kick-start our yellow perch fish hatchery!

Thank you to these three partnerships; we are excited to continue our relationships in the future!

A garden of cultural delights

The Press Times – August 5, 2019

Gripping the stem of a pumpkin leaf, Nhoua Yang peels off the outer layer of skin to reveal the tender stalk inside.

“You snap it and go like this,” she said, adding that the leaves are great boiled with a little salt or stir-fried. “They taste like other greens — like collards.”

Who knew you could eat pumpkin leaves?

Those brave enough to try new dished at the Gardening — Exploring Cultural Roots event last weekend got more than food for thought.

They learned how simple dishes can be prepared from the yields of four gardens representing the dining traditions of Laos, Ethiopia, Mexico and the Oneida.

The UW Extension Brown County partnered with The Farmory to hold the event at the Annunciation Community Garden.

91.1 Radio Talks with Claire Thompson, Executive Director of The Farmory

The Avenue 91.1

Host Amanda Sharon talks with Claire Thompson, Executive Director of the Farmory in Green Bay and Ken Webb Associate Researcher at UWGB.  They outline what The Farmory in Green Bay does, talk about hydroponics and outline the process of aquaponics.  Ken Webb also discusses the difficulty of raising perch in a contained environment and how The Farmory plans to go about it.  The Farmory will also be teaching area farmers how to raise perch to sell to restaurants and grocery stores.

Farmory project receives CCHD funding for its innovative benefits

The Compass News – February 28, 2019

 Perch — it’s a mainstay of the Friday night fish fry in northeast Wisconsin, especially during Lent.

But who knew that the perch could also provide a leg up to people striving to work their way out of poverty.

Eric Weydt, Catholic Social Justice coordinator with the Diocese of Green Bay, had a hunch and he was right. It was Weydt who encouraged a community endeavor called The Farmory, located at 815 Chicago St. in Green Bay, to apply for a Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grant. As a result, The Farmory applied for and received grants over the past three years totaling $145,000 from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ anti-poverty campaign.

Thank you! Our Giving Tuesday goal was met!

We are so grateful for all of your support! You helped us reach our ambitious goal of raising at least $30,000 for the Giving Tuesday campaign!

We would also like to thank Bernie and Alyce Dahlin for their generous challenge matching gift! Checks are still coming in, and we will let you know the total funds raised for this campaign very soon. What an incredible impact in just one day!

Thanks to your donations, we will be able to Clad the Farmory and double the number of education and training experiences offered next year!

Farmory developing commercial yellow perch hatchery

The Country Today – November 19, 2018

Wisconsin aquaculture is languishing, said Ken Webb, a research associate at UW-Green Bay.

“There are some pilot farms, some small farms here and there,” he said. “But when you think of catfish farms down in the Mississippi delta, you think of hundreds and thousands of acres of fish. Well, we don’t have that here.”

That soon could change, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale.

Armed with years of experience and a desire to succeed, Webb moved to Wisconsin from Texas last spring for the opportunity to work at UW-Green Bay and help build The Farmory. The goal is to create the state’s first commercial yellow perch hatchery in an intensive culture system.

Far UW-Green Bay Researcher Hopes to Make Fish Fry Dinners Less Expensive

WPR- November 23, 2018

Researchers in Green Bay hope to reduce the cost of Wisconsin’s traditional Friday night fish fry by working with The Farmory — a local nonprofit based in downtown Green Bay — to set up breeding tanks for the popular yellow perch, which is becoming hard to find in the wild.

Ken Webb, a research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, is taking on the difficult task of setting up the tanks for The Farmory. He said yellow perch are hard to raise in captivity. Many fish farms raise perch in outdoor ponds, but Webb said most larvae die within 30 days whether from predation or disease.

Instead of outdoor ponds, these yellow perch will be bred and raised indoors in tanks that look like hot tubs.

Aquaponic Efforts at Oneida Nation and The Farmory

edible Door- November 15, 2018

It’s no joke that here in Wisconsin we see some harsh winters. The climate calls for below zero temperatures, blizzards; and even snowfall and freezing temperatures into April. Because of that, some farmers in Green Bay have taken to a different style of farming: Aquaponics.

Not a new idea, aquaponics is a style of farming that has been around for many years. With our useable farmland dwindling, in combination with Wisconsin’s harsh winters, more people are looking towards aquaponics for an extended growing season.

Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, recirculating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients. It is an environmentally friendly, natural food-growing method that harnesses the best attributes of aquaculture and hydroponics without the need to discard any water or filtrate or add chemical fertilizers.

UW-Green Bay and The Farmory to open first commercial year-round fish hatchery

UWGB – October 16, 2018

Green Bay, Wis. — In a unique partnership with biologists from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, The Farmory plans to open Wisconsin’s first research-based, full-scale year-round commercial fish hatchery this winter.

The first of its kind in the state, the partnership combines UW-Green Bay’s faculty and student expertise, along with The Farmory’s innovative indoor vertical aquaponics system and large hatchery space. Fresh, locally-grown perch will once again be available to area restaurants and provide opportunities for local commercial fish entrepreneurs.

Green Bay Schools Spur Expansion of Indoor Growing Operations

Green Bay Press Gazette – March 9, 2018

It’s always exciting to learn how innovative and creative the Greater Green Bay community is, even if it isn’t aware it’s happening.

Case in point, our community is making the availability of fresh, local produce year-round a priority. We see it by the turnout at our farmers markets. We see it in our grade schools, high schools and higher education institutions. What may be most exciting is how our community doesn’t let the harsh winters of northeastern Wisconsin stop fresh produce from ending up in a meal even when gardens are covered in snow and bitter cold temperatures keep us in our homes.

It’s inside these same places that keep us warm that we have successful indoor gardening efforts taking place throughout Greater Green Bay, especially in our schools.

Partners in Education: Aquaponics 

Green Bay Press Gazette – March 9, 2018

WEST DE PERE, Wis. – “I think it’s going to be hundreds, we take kids in our culinary program introduction to food programs, ag science courses biology other advance horticulture type classes landscape courses so all those kids are going to be a part of this experience,” said Russell Gerke – Principal at W. De Pere High School

Food for Thought

St. Norbert’s – November 7, 2017

Student researchers are playing key roles in one grad’s creative effort to provide urban residents with improved access to healthy food

At first glance, Green Bay would seem to be immune from the sort of healthy food-access issues more commonly found in bigger cities. Major grocery retailers are plentiful around the perimeter of the city, but therein lies the challenge: Residents of inner-city neighborhoods exist in what has become a food desert, where unhealthy, processed foods are often the only available choices.

Will Allen a Key Player in Farmory

Food revolutionary, Will Allen, will be speaking at the upcoming Open House for The Farmory. The Farmory is a concept to transform a vacant 20,000 square foot structure owned by NeighborWorks Green Bay into a beautiful indoor farm.

Farmory breathes new life into Green Bay

Fox 11 News – October 26, 2015

The concept is to create an indoor farm system.

Some food will be grown by using hydroponics, which is growing plants in water, without soil.

Officials say many people get the credit for helping to reach this point. 

“The farmory project is the brainchild of a whole host of individuals that have come together, each pursuing different interests that have now synthesized in the plans to bring this 20,000-square foot building to life,” said Noel Halvorsen, Executive Director of NeighborWorks in Green Bay.


Contact Us

Claire Thompson – Executive Director 

(920) 593-3708

Patty Casady – AmeriCorps VISTA

(920) 593-3714

John Ledvina – AmeriCorps VISTA 

(920) 544-0763