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commercial aquaponic vs government subsidized industrial soil farming

Does anyone know if government subsidize aquaponic farmers? I don't think aquaponic can replace industrial soil farming for future farming unless government subsidize aquaponic farmers too.

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Hi Couch Potato, love the name btw, there are not currently any government subsidies for AP farms.  Our industry is far too young to gather that type of government support or even acknowledgement for that matter. Besides subsidized farming isn't necessarily a good thing for agriculture and if AP is going to be one of the factors influencing the decentralization of our food supply, then subsidizing would actually deter the growth of local food markets and decentralization.  The subsidizing of America's farms is quite a contentious issue and opponents argue that in order to deregulate the farm industry, there would have to be an end to direct payments to farmers entirely.   The benefits of this alternative would be the creation of a free market environment in the agricultural sector, in effect boosting global welfare by allowing trade across borders dictated by supply and demand.  However the industrialization of farming has effectively eliminated free trade and caused the decline of the small farm and the rise of the large farming conglomerate which has led to an overall decline in food quality and a rise in substandard processed foods.  

I honestly don't know if aquaponic farms can ever replace industrial soil farming but it can provide a local food source and minimize reliance on big ag and fill a huge growing market demand.

Wow Gina, i'm almost intoxicated enough to understand all that! 

Hey Couch Potatoe! GREAT name.  I don't think the gov even knows we exist yet.  But considering their track record, do you really want them poking around your business just yet?  We can barely get certified organic! (not that its all that eco friendly anymore)  But hey, if you can get Uncle Sam to foot the bill, go for it.  Just read the fine print....

Much of the subsidized farm commodities have really messed up the food system.  Instead of growing more food, they are now growing more animal feed to feed to animals that are not even naturally adapted to eat those types of feed which is leading to other problems in the food system.  They are also growing more of theses commodities as fuel instead of food.

 

And the use of these commodities in processed foods is not helping feed the world or the hungry but is being used to get westerners to spend more money on calories that most of us don't need.  The added fasts and high fructose corn syrup in the processed foods are not doing us any good.

 

The subsidies really only help farmers with the commodities since those generally have to be sold wholesale.  When you start growing different things and can sell direct to the customer, the farmer makes much more money on the product since there are not three or more extra middle men in between the farmer and the customer.  Most of the foods grown in aquaponics are not the grain crops that are most subsidized.

A lot of farm subsidies go to farmers to not grow anything.  Much of the corn goes for ethanol.  I lived in Omaha Ne 14 years ago they had ethanol in their gas and the prices never have gone down.  The price of food have gone up because of the high price of corn.  Like Gina said the subsidies go to the big industrial farms and drive the little farms out.  I can still remember when my father lost his farm for lack of money.  He went into a year depression before he realized that didn't help and started a new career as a construction worker.  But his heart was on the farm that was the love of his life until he died.  He slaved away caring for the soil growing organically before the word was coined.  I joined the Navy at 18 because I wanted away from the sorrows of farming and look where I am now.

I pray aquaponics never dirties itself with the governments money.  We are free to be as big or little as we want and we are pulling together as a body of farmers instead of seeing who can run who off.  There is plenty of room out there for a lot more of us so lets go get them. AQUAPONICS ONWARD AND UPWARD 

Amen Raychel!  I for one don't want to see government infiltration of our industry, it has done nothing but destroy small family farms and pave the road for big ag.  I recently saw a documentary called Farmageddon that exposed what was occurring in the raw milk industry.  Farms are being raided by gov officials with guns, shut down, their animals confiscated and killed and all in the name of food safety.  Its more like in the name of big ag's protection of their bottom line.  The USDA is supposed to protect the consumer by insuring safe food products and are targeting the little farms despite 99% of contamination issues occurring at processing plants from you guessed it, big ag producers.  Yet the rules and regulations they are trying to impose will do nothing but make it impossible for the little guy to even stay in the arena, let alone play.

I am so glad someone else knows what is going on. Cheers to you Raychel, TC and Gina.

I originally refrain from commenting here because this is the typical type of question a (so aptly named) "couch potato" would ask. Too lazy to learn or even write a decent lead in. For me to write anything less than a good page would be meaningless yet, I am sure would sound like the frantic ravings of a fanatical, conspiracy theorist. And I am!...(but I'll keep it short).

 

The long and the short of it is that we are most likely already too late and this AP, through the continued green/ eco movement is the only (temporary) safe haven/ venue for self production. Laws are already in place to continue their Nazi like extermination of all means of self-reliable food production. Governments around the globe have fallen, bought and paid for by big Ag. But like the shadow that was once freedom in ideological societies that was once America and Rome, most people simply refuse to see what reality has placed in their laps.

 

You do realize ladies, that one day, these words on this page will come back to haunt you as the four of us will be labeled as "on the fringe of society" and worse, then at whim, be knocked off to the next category, and the next until ....well you figure it out. My point actually, is just that; Mr couch potato (general public), has to want to know/ care enough about, what he/ they shove down their gullet, while entranced by their psycho-social reduction, re-education/ EKG reduction/ pacifier, to have a chance at investigating, studying, researching enough to attempt this path of food production, so for that, I congratulate you all. Mr Couch deserves recognition for identifying us and weeding us out. Those that oppose will be weeded out. Those that know the truth, will oppose! 

 

See, I told you all I'd sound like some kind of fanatic. I win! I win!

Oh, here's one for ya'all; If those that want to control all food, believe that 95%+ of society (globally), can be considered sheep, (a non threat) and controlled and pacified through the control of food. Wouldn't it be nice to be THE sole provider?

Sad for them is that I ain't no frikin sheep! And they have to be stopped before they ruin and contaminate the rest of nature. So read, read, read, write to your Representatives and vote. Meanwhile, demonstrate a better alternative, a better, healthier, happier lifestyle....no matter where we live.

Cheers

In the spirit of "act locally and think globally", it certainly seems like an uphill battle especially when you look at State level political contributions given to candidates and committees from certain sectors of the Ag Industry. The charts below show a breakdown of contributions for the States of those who have posted to this thread. Source: followthemoney.org

 

COLORADO

FLORIDA

HAWAII

MASSACHUSETTS

TEXAS

 

AG SECTORS & SUB-SECTORS QUERIED

Agricultural Services & Products

  • Agricultural chemicals (fertilizers & pesticides)
  • Agricultural services & related industries
  • Animal feed & health products
  • Farm machinery & equipment
  • Farm organizations & cooperatives
  • Florists & nursery services
  • Grain traders & terminals
  • Veterinarians

Commodity Brokers & Dealers

  • Commodity brokers & dealers

Crop Production & Basic Processing

  • Cotton growers, cotton ginners
  • Farmers, in general
  • Includes all sugar growers and sugar co-ops
  • Other commodities (including rice, peanuts, honey)
  • Vegetables, fruits & tree nuts
  • Wheat, corn, soybeans & cash grain

Crop Production & Basic Processing & Livestock

  • Farmers/Ranchers

Dairy

  • Dairy farmers & wholesale and retail milk, cheese and ice cream dealers

Farm Bureau

  • Farm Bureau/affiliated organizations & PACs

Food Processing & Sales

  • Food & beverage products and services
  • Food & kindred products manufacturing
  • Food stores
  • Food wholesalers
  • Meat processing & products

Forestry & Forest Products

  • Paper & pulp mills and paper manufacturing
  • Timber companies, sawmills, & others engaged in cutting down trees

Livestock

  • Feedlots & related livestock services
  • Horse breeders
  • Livestock
  • Sheep & wool producers

Miscellaneous Agriculture

  • Miscellaneous agriculture

Poultry & Eggs

  • Poultry & eggs

Tobacco

  • Tobacco & tobacco products

 



Carey!  Oh my, conspiracy is right!  Can't say that I don't agree, but my prior responses are a bit more metered.  The "sheeple" are slowly raising to consciousness or so I would like to think.  Is the vast majority? No, but don't all movements typically start out at a small grassroots level?  I think the interest for locally grown, clean food is at least indicating a trend. That's why it is so important for those of us in this industry to take up the gauntlet and run with it!  

 

In my own little corner of the world, I see interest and acknowledgement on the faces of the people I get to preach to from my soap box.  I always start my farm tours out by talking about why organics and why aquaponics and you can literally see the amazement on their faces when I spew facts to them like conventional celery has 67 chemicals in it and how could the USDA possibly say that eating it is ok when the very people applying those chemicals are dressed up in garb that looks like they came from working on a nuclear reactor. And this is the same institution that certifies organic food, what a load of fish poo.  It all feeds the machine.  Control the food, control the people.  Poison the food, feed the pharmaceutical and medical industry, yatta, yatta, yatta.  Its all one big ugly chain.

 

Once I began learning about what was in conventional food, I didn't want to eat anymore!  And the availability of organics right here was awful.  Only one grocery store in town carries any and that is usually just some lettuce, carrots, and green peppers, zucchini and yellow squash priced at $3.99 each.  The local health food stores try but the cost and risk of loss when it doesn't sell quick enough is too great.  We can drive an hour South and go to Whole Foods, but the cost and time involved is ridiculous, but that is what we used to do.  Now, we bring the organics here.  We started what we call Green Acre Organics For You! buying club.  When there is local availability, nearly all of the food comes from us and other local traditional farmers that grow chem free.  When there isn't local availability, like now in the summer, we order from an organic distributor.  For $24 members get 6 to 7 veggies, 2 to 3 fruits and an herb for $24.  The value is incredible for our members and in less than 3 months time, we have nearly 50 members.  We don't make a killing off of it by any means, which wasn't our intention anyway,  but we eat for free now and it pays for our time to put it together and we are offering something to our community no one else does.  From the growth of our little club in our little town, I am hopeful that people are waking up but the cost of certified organics is too great for most, even though they want to feed themselves and their families quality, non poison foods.  I think it is important for growers to create consumer confidence via education without having to pay for the costly certifications and aquaponics has an enormous potential to do just that.  When we set out to start our farm, one of our missions was to make organic food more affordable and we are slowly doing that here.  We like to say "You shouldn't have to be wealthy to eat healthy!"  But that is the sad reality.    

 

Our intention when we started was to get certified organic, hence our name which btw, we are now changing.  I contacted the USDA to find out if we could keep Organic in our name, even though we are essentially an "organic distributor" not just a grower, and they said "NO".  So, we are in the process of changing it and we will be unveiling our new name very soon.  I will tell you it is kick-a*%!  But I have to get a few more ducks in a row before making the big announcement.  I know I have totally gravitated on this discussion, but as long as we are talking about the food production system, all of this is a big factor.  I don't think that the cost to certify organic and the resulting cost of that food is accidental, but feeds the machine by insuring only a select few can afford to eat that way.  The president of Monsanto even was quoted as saying he won't eat his own frankenfoods his company is conjuring up in labs.  Pretty damn scary if you ask me.  

 

It is my intention via our trainings and tours and the public speaking I do to teach people about the need for clean food and that translates into teaching them how to to do it.  I have spoke before about the need for collaboration at this level and not competition and the more we help wake people up, guess what, the more demand we create for ourselves and the less likelihood that we have to worry about being eachother's competition and will desperately need the collaboration!  Its a far different kind of machine that is growing.  I say grow food, grow ideas, grow consciousness!  One step at a time baby and my next step to bring all of this to fruition is through the organization that started from a thread here on this forum and Sylvia and I ran with.  It will happen, slowly but surely and I am inspired by the support and interest I see here and in my community.  Onward and upward y'all!  

Terri great read. I always learn something from your posts. I think your post reflects why we should why we are small we should organize and educate the public. If we can get the public on our side our chances of being regulated out of prosperity are alot less. I am optimistic about it here in the U.S. because americans are craving high quality food at an affordable price.

Terri Mikkola said:

In the spirit of "act locally and think globally", it certainly seems like an uphill battle especially when you look at State level political contributions given to candidates and committees from certain sectors of the Ag Industry. The charts below show a breakdown of contributions for the States of those who have posted to this thread. Source: followthemoney.org

 

COLORADO

FLORIDA

HAWAII

MASSACHUSETTS

TEXAS

 

AG SECTORS & SUB-SECTORS QUERIED

Agricultural Services & Products

  • Agricultural chemicals (fertilizers & pesticides)
  • Agricultural services & related industries
  • Animal feed & health products
  • Farm machinery & equipment
  • Farm organizations & cooperatives
  • Florists & nursery services
  • Grain traders & terminals
  • Veterinarians

Commodity Brokers & Dealers

  • Commodity brokers & dealers

Crop Production & Basic Processing

  • Cotton growers, cotton ginners
  • Farmers, in general
  • Includes all sugar growers and sugar co-ops
  • Other commodities (including rice, peanuts, honey)
  • Vegetables, fruits & tree nuts
  • Wheat, corn, soybeans & cash grain

Crop Production & Basic Processing & Livestock

  • Farmers/Ranchers

Dairy

  • Dairy farmers & wholesale and retail milk, cheese and ice cream dealers

Farm Bureau

  • Farm Bureau/affiliated organizations & PACs

Food Processing & Sales

  • Food & beverage products and services
  • Food & kindred products manufacturing
  • Food stores
  • Food wholesalers
  • Meat processing & products

Forestry & Forest Products

  • Paper & pulp mills and paper manufacturing
  • Timber companies, sawmills, & others engaged in cutting down trees

Livestock

  • Feedlots & related livestock services
  • Horse breeders
  • Livestock
  • Sheep & wool producers

Miscellaneous Agriculture

  • Miscellaneous agriculture

Poultry & Eggs

  • Poultry & eggs

Tobacco

  • Tobacco & tobacco products

 


Well said Gina!!  We also lost our taste for 'food' when we started educating ourselves about the food industry. That has lead many of our friends and neighbors becoming much more aware of what they are consuming!  And you're right - baby steps- but a steady drip can become a flood!!   Thank you for your vision and drive to make this happen!!  Very exciting times------

Gina Cavaliero said:

Carey!  Oh my, conspiracy is right!  Can't say that I don't agree, but my prior responses are a bit more metered.  The "sheeple" are slowly raising to consciousness or so I would like to think.  Is the vast majority? No, but don't all movements typically start out at a small grassroots level?  I think the interest for locally grown, clean food is at least indicating a trend. That's why it is so important for those of us in this industry to take up the gauntlet and run with it!  

 

In my own little corner of the world, I see interest and acknowledgement on the faces of the people I get to preach to from my soap box.  I always start my farm tours out by talking about why organics and why aquaponics and you can literally see the amazement on their faces when I spew facts to them like conventional celery has 67 chemicals in it and how could the USDA possibly say that eating it is ok when the very people applying those chemicals are dressed up in garb that looks like they came from working on a nuclear reactor. And this is the same institution that certifies organic food, what a load of fish poo.  It all feeds the machine.  Control the food, control the people.  Poison the food, feed the pharmaceutical and medical industry, yatta, yatta, yatta.  Its all one big ugly chain.

 

Once I began learning about what was in conventional food, I didn't want to eat anymore!  And the availability of organics right here was awful.  Only one grocery store in town carries any and that is usually just some lettuce, carrots, and green peppers, zucchini and yellow squash priced at $3.99 each.  The local health food stores try but the cost and risk of loss when it doesn't sell quick enough is too great.  We can drive an hour South and go to Whole Foods, but the cost and time involved is ridiculous, but that is what we used to do.  Now, we bring the organics here.  We started what we call Green Acre Organics For You! buying club.  When there is local availability, nearly all of the food comes from us and other local traditional farmers that grow chem free.  When there isn't local availability, like now in the summer, we order from an organic distributor.  For $24 members get 6 to 7 veggies, 2 to 3 fruits and an herb for $24.  The value is incredible for our members and in less than 3 months time, we have nearly 50 members.  We don't make a killing off of it by any means, which wasn't our intention anyway,  but we eat for free now and it pays for our time to put it together and we are offering something to our community no one else does.  From the growth of our little club in our little town, I am hopeful that people are waking up but the cost of certified organics is too great for most, even though they want to feed themselves and their families quality, non poison foods.  I think it is important for growers to create consumer confidence via education without having to pay for the costly certifications and aquaponics has an enormous potential to do just that.  When we set out to start our farm, one of our missions was to make organic food more affordable and we are slowly doing that here.  We like to say "You shouldn't have to be wealthy to eat healthy!"  But that is the sad reality.    

 

Our intention when we started was to get certified organic, hence our name which btw, we are now changing.  I contacted the USDA to find out if we could keep Organic in our name, even though we are essentially an "organic distributor" not just a grower, and they said "NO".  So, we are in the process of changing it and we will be unveiling our new name very soon.  I will tell you it is kick-a*%!  But I have to get a few more ducks in a row before making the big announcement.  I know I have totally gravitated on this discussion, but as long as we are talking about the food production system, all of this is a big factor.  I don't think that the cost to certify organic and the resulting cost of that food is accidental, but feeds the machine by insuring only a select few can afford to eat that way.  The president of Monsanto even was quoted as saying he won't eat his own frankenfoods his company is conjuring up in labs.  Pretty damn scary if you ask me.  

 

It is my intention via our trainings and tours and the public speaking I do to teach people about the need for clean food and that translates into teaching them how to to do it.  I have spoke before about the need for collaboration at this level and not competition and the more we help wake people up, guess what, the more demand we create for ourselves and the less likelihood that we have to worry about being eachother's competition and will desperately need the collaboration!  Its a far different kind of machine that is growing.  I say grow food, grow ideas, grow consciousness!  One step at a time baby and my next step to bring all of this to fruition is through the organization that started from a thread here on this forum and Sylvia and I ran with.  It will happen, slowly but surely and I am inspired by the support and interest I see here and in my community.  Onward and upward y'all!  

Thanks Darlene!  And happy to oblige!  :D

 

This is a very interesting thread and one that hits home with me. I have been farming for 25 years and have seen the effects of government regulation and big ag change the way food is produced in this country. We used to grow a lot of vegetables in our area, but due to the impossible to comply with food safety regulations and labor issues, vegetable production is almost non existent here. There are some that have found a niche and do fairly well but the costs are slowly driving them out.  So what has happened...the big companies (Hunt, Del Monte etc.) moved their production south where there is no food safety regulations and labor is cheap. They can apply what ever chemical they want when ever they want and ship that crap north to the people that would rather spend their money on an iPhone than good healthy food for their family. Because after all our country is known for cheap food. Our government in the name of food safety has caused many of these problems but as you noted earlier they are doing what those that pay them want.

The point is this if AP ever grows to the point that it threatens the bottom line of the big A they will attempt to regulate you out of business.  The only way to stop it is to head them off at the pass so to speak and educate the public about the food they are buying and offer them an alternative at a reasonable price. Not some hyped up "organic" option. 

I could go on but my blood pressure is beginning to rise.

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