The Aquaponic Association - U.S. Farm Bill - 300 Aquaponic Signatures to Congress

The Aquaponic Association - U.S. Farm Bill - 300 Aquaponic Signatures to Congress

August 7, 2018

U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry 328A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

House Committee on Agriculture

1301 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators and Representatives:

Aquaponic growers around the country are glad to see that the Senate’s recent Farm Bill draft includes provisions for aquaponics and other sustainable growing methods like hydroponics, aeroponics, vertical growing, rooftop growing, and controlled-environment greenhouses.

Our planet is already grappling with environmental stress and resource depletion, and global population is expected to grow 1.5 Billion by 2050. Investments in sustainable agriculture are critical to a prosperous future.

The Aquaponics Association and the undersigned institutions and individuals urge you to ensure that the final draft of the 2018 Farm Bill supports aquaponics and related sustainable agricultural methods.

BACKGROUND

Aquaponic growers around the world have proven that we can provide the freshest, healthiest produce in any environment with the fewest resources. We employ water-based, recirculating systems of fish, plants and bacteria to produce vegetables, fruits and fish (edible or ornamental).

In every state across the country, aquaponic growers are supplying markets and restaurants; growing for their own diet; teaching STEM education; and contributing to sustainability research.

Aquaponic agriculture has many nationwide benefits:
• Less water use - Aquaponic systems use over 90% less water than traditional agriculture per pound of produce.

  • Local economic growth - Aquaponics can be performed from cities to deserts, offering jobs and regional economic growth anywhere.

  • No antibiotics - Aquaponic systems are naturally incompatible with antibiotics; growers rely on a diverse microbial ecosystem for natural disease suppression.

  • Fewer food miles - Aquaponics can deliver fresh produce in any environment which will reduce carbon use, food spoilage, and nutrient depletion.

  • Better food safety - Controlled-environment greenhouses minimize the risk of outdoor contamination hazards that cause most outbreaks.

  • Food security – More local food leads to better food security in times of extreme weather or systemic crises.

  • No toxic runoff - Aquaponic systems are closed-loop and do not emit the harmful agricultural runoff that causes aquatic dead-zones.

  • No synthetic chemicals - Aquaponic systems do not require synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

  • Less land-use and soil erosion - Aquaponics can be practiced anywhere from rooftops to old industrial buildings. Plants can yield over 150% more produce than traditional agriculture per grow area.

Aquaponics can help meet the nutrition needs of a growing population, generate local economic growth, and benefit our environment. Please ensure that the 2018 U.S. Farm BiIl supports aquaponics and other new sustainable growing methods, in the same manner, it supports traditional agriculture.

This letter was prepared by the Aquaponics Association 2018 Farm Bill Coalition.

Please Click Here to View The Letter and Signators

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