KSU ag staff to be in Russellville Thursday to open joint research project with RHS

Posted on October 9, 2017 1:29 PM

Several faculty and staff from Kentucky State University, College of Agriculture, Food Science & Sustainable Systems, Cooperative Extension (KSU) will be presenting at Russellville High School on Thursday to kick off the opening of the new aquaponics center.

Aquaponics is a cutting-edge agriculture method which refers to any system that combines the raising of aquatic animals such as fish in tanks with the cultivation of plants in water in a symbiotic system.

For several years, KSU has been working with the Russellville Urban Gardening Project, (RUGP) a youth based urban farm in downtown Russellville, to teach agriculture and promote the growing of chemical free foods.

To include more students, Dr. Nancy J. Dawson, RUGP project coordinator, started working with Russellville teachers Bethanie Hargett-Slack, Chris Holloman, Ashley McGinnis and Tanya Mullen to implement projects within the classroom and create service projects in conjunction with the National Honor Society at the school. Last April, nearly 200 students held Earth Day at the RUGP site.

The new aquaponics greenhouse is an outgrowth of the collaboration between students, teachers, community members and KSU. The Russellville project is being included in a new grant funded project at KSU and will give Russellville students opportunities to participate in several educational opportunities free of charge. Most importantly, the aquaponics center will introduce students to leading-edge information on aquaponics which will make them more employable in the future.

On Thursday, KSU will provide school-wide workshops on aquaponics, use of drones in farming, bee pollination, careers in agriculture, and organic farming among other topics.

A discussion, tour/press conference will be held at the center located in the greenhouse behind Russellville High School on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. For more information please contact Dr. Nancy J. Dawson, 270-847-8726.

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