Forgive the dumb question,
But this is in response to the recent mass email about an association forming and a soon to be paid membership. Will I be losing access to all of the awesome experience and advice that is on this forumn if I dont fork over a membership fee? What is the purpose of the Association? how will it help the Aquaponic community around the US?
Hi Adam. First, let me assure you that the formation of the Aquaponics Association has nothing to do with the functioning of this community site! It will continue to run, and be free, as it is now. The new Association was formed at the Aquaponics Association Conference last September as a completely separate organization charged with promoting aquaponics through-out the world and running a conference every year. Membership dues will be $45 / year starting in January, and for those dues you will get a series of great benefits which will be formally announced soon (you can learn more here - http://aquaponicsassociation.org/). As I am the U.S. Chapter Chair I will be making announcements here about what is going on in the Association from time to time ...but that is the only direct connection between the two organizations.
I hope that allays your fears and you will consider becoming a member in the new Association! But if that isn't your cup-of-tea, no worries. Just continue staying active in here
The Aquaponic Association has actually already been formed and had its very first meeting at the conference in Orlando just this past September. Sylvia as the US Chapter Chairman was simply soliciting feedback to find out how US members would like to see a branch structure be shaped. There are many ways to go about setting up what ultimately is the most important unit of the association, the branch where members actually reside and get the benefit of the interaction with others in their area. Maybe a branch you join would put together an aquaponic display and booth at your local fair or farmers market where you get to share your excitement about aquaponic growing with others. Or how about a monthly pot luck and getting together to watch a video? Those are just some simple examples of what membership might mean at the local level, but what it would do is build community on a literal level. We all enjoy the benefits of our one dimensional relationships here, but it became apparent that much could be gained by encouraging the formation of an organization where people could get together in a physical way too. Rest assured, you will not lose any access at all to the awesome experience and advice available on this forum, in fact it will probably only add to it.
On a larger level, what will this Association do and how will it benefit aquaponics? The answer to that is limitless! The overarching mission of the AA is to promote the benefits of aquaponics through education and outreach. The goals are
How does the aquaponic community benefit from all this? By increasing consumer or just the average person's awareness and understanding about aquaponics, we can hope to see many embrace this incredible way to grow food. Whether that means the family that saw the display at the farmers market starts a backyard system or maybe the couple that starts a family farm and then sells their aquaponic produce at that same market. More people simply benefit from sustainably grown aquaponic food in one way or another.
Hope that answers your question Adam! And no worries, nothing dumb about it!
What myths and rumors?