Lee Co. students learn about sustainable farming

Lee Co. students learn about sustainable farming
Students and staff hope to have the systems operational within the next few months (Source: WALB)
CEO of HATponics Ryan Cox (Source: WALB)
CEO of HATponics Ryan Cox (Source: WALB)

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students from Lee County Middle School West learned from a real-world professional about a sustainable agriculture system called aquaponics on Wednesday.

And those students are in the process of making their own systems to fight hunger in their community.

"One of the biggest pieces that we have to address is the fact that hunger is all around us," said HATponics CEO Ryan Cox.

HATponics is a sustainable agricultural company that advocates for the use of aquaponics.

Cox said it's important for students to learn by working towards solving a problem and using STEM to solve it.

"It's important to be able to teach that so that they can look at that real-world problem and know that they're working to address it, versus just having a cool project in class," said Cox.

According to the school, students are currently in the process of planning their aquaponics systems.

They hope to eventually grow produce that can be used in school lunches and for other programs.

Cox said he's working toward feeding 20 million people with food from these systems by 2020. He said students are the answer to getting there.

"And the only way we're really going to be able to do that is by working with educational systems that provide us a new platform, so that these students are going out and learning to feed groups that are in food distress," said Cox.

The students are currently building raised beds to harvest worms while learning about composting. They hope to begin forming the aquaponics systems within the next month or two.

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