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Agricultural Innovation Center receives Home Depot grant for aquaponics system

ISSUED: 8 May 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Agricultural Innovation Center at Tabler Farm received a $6,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation to buy materials to help build an aquaponics laboratory that will enhance the Veterans to Agriculture Program.

“The grant allows us to get materials such as wood, blocks, nails, screws, pipes, and fittings from the Ranson Home Depot store that are the nuts and bolts of building the aquaponics system,” said Dr. Peter Vila, director, Veterans to Agriculture Program. “One of the main focuses of the Home Depot Foundation is veterans, and veterans are going to be learning aquaponics at the farm.”

Vila said the goal is to have the aquaponics system online by the end of summer. He credits the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture in Leetown, and Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown with helping by providing materials and expertise.

“This has been an amazing project,” Vila said. “This grant not only is instrumental for its timing, but it’s also a boost for involving students and veterans in the actual work. I’m very grateful to Home Depot Foundation for this grant that allows for the buildout of this system and allows veterans to see a different method of producing agricultural product.”

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