CFANS sees what others can’t.

And when it comes to growing food, we take a deep dive.

Growing food locally, year-round, in a sustainable way? Yes, it can be done, and using techniques that involve no chemicals or soil, and very little water. It’s the science of aquaponics, and CFANS is at the forefront of this new and fast-growing industry.

Friends with benefits

Aquaponics is the science of raising plants and aquatic animals in a symbiotic, controlled environment. All three elements work together: Fish waste provides nutrients for plants, which in turn filter the system’s water so it can be recirculated as a home for the aquatic animals. Aquaponics provides an ideal solution for local, sustainable production of both plants and fish/seafood. In CFANS, we’re combining research expertise in fisheries, water and plants -- as well as educating the next generation of food producers -- for a win-win-win in sustainable food production.

  • Number of aquaponics facilities in Minnesota in 2010: three. Number of aquaponics facilities in Minnesota in 2015: 40+
  • The word “aquaponics” comes from the combination of two other alternative crop-production systems: hydroponics and aquaculture.