Walker celebrates opening of aquaponics facility

30022187 - rainbow trout
30022187 - rainbow trout(WEAU)
Published: Sep. 1, 2017 at 10:45 AM CDT
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Gov. Scott Walker Thursday joined employees of Superior Fresh LLC. to celebrate its grand opening.

Owners say the 3.75-acre aquaponics facility will produce more than 2 million pounds of fresh Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and leafy green vegetables annually.

“The complexity of the farm, ranging from automation to water chemistry and biology, has created some very exciting, high-end jobs,” said Walker.

The facility combines aquaculture and hydroponics whereby waste from fish will be used to supply nutrients for plants grown hydroponically. 99 percent of the purified water is recirculated.

Owners, Todd and Karen Wanek stated, “We want to lay the groundwork for sustainable food production, not by reinventing the wheel, but by refining processes and lessons learned to create a one-of-a-kind business.”

Superior Fresh has partnered with UW-Madison, UW-Stevens Points, UW-La Crosse, and UW-River Falls for research opportunities for students. The facility includes the first indoor Atlantic salmon farm in the United States and a 123,000-square foot greenhouse. The company employs nearly two dozen people and plans to expand operations throughout the world once the Northfield facility becomes fully operational.