February 11, 2021
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – The first urban farm of its kind in Northeast Wisconsin takes a major step forward in helping others grow yellow perch indoors. The Farmory is celebrating the first graduates of its Aquaculture Technician Certification Program.
Since launching its state-of-the-art commercial fish hatchery a year ago, The Farmory, located in Green Bay’s Navarino Neighborhood, has sold fingerling perch to more than 60 customers. “A lot of those customers said they wanted to learn more about how to grow out yellow perch fingerlings before they invested money in a business or even in a hobby scale, so we really amped up our educational programs,” says Claire Thompson, The Farmory executive director.
A 12-week cohort program, that began in November and just wrapped up, covered all aspects of aquaculture. “Like biosecurity, water chemistry, water quality, fish husbandry, fish health, fish biology, aquaponics,” explains Thompson. With wild yellow perch supplies in decline, graduates of the FarmoryWorks Aquaculture Technician Program see opportunity.
“I’ve heard from countless people and potential customers if you will, that they can not get perch at peak times like when they come to Lent times, they’re not even able to get it, let alone pay for it,” says graduate Brian Schuh from Kaukauna.
This spring, Schuh, one of the first 12 graduates, plans to start an aquaponics company in the Fox Valley. He says the hands-on program offered by The Farmory, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable agriculture, proved invaluable.
“Confidence in knowing you’re asking questions that you’re going to get educated and experience answers because anybody can go out on Youtube and pretend they’re a professional in any profession, but the fact is until you actually get your hands on the fish and be able to say I took fish from fingerling to ten inches, that’s a big step and you learn a lot along the way, that’s for sure,” says Schuh.
For more information on upcoming education programs, go to https://www.farmory.org/