Iowa Western Community College
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) is a long-standing technical institution with roots throughout southwestern Iowa and Omaha. IWCC focuses heavily on professional training in a variety of fields, including but not limited to sustainable agriculture, culinary arts, welding, computer science, business management, and robotics. As part of their sustainable agriculture program, IWCC wanted to revitalize their existing greenhouse into an Aquaponic farm, and use the product to help feed the college and the local community.
This system is a custom 23 x 40 Flourish Aquaponic Farm, the system is being built in 3 phases. Phase one is a proof of concept, which entails the use of 36 sq.ft of media beds and a 4′ x 24′ Growasis Elevated-Modular Raft System. Phase two will double the fish compacity and add an 8′ x 28′ Growasis Modular Raft System on onto the existing system. Phase 3 is to duplicate the entire 23 x 40′ Flourish Aquaponic Farm into an adjacent greenhouse
Phase one of this system will produce 125 lbs Tilapia, 4,350 lbs of vegetables and 360 lbs of fruits annually, which will be used in the culinary classes to help further the experience of the students, and in turn, be fed to students and faculty in the school dining halls. Students will grow a variety of kale, lettuce, swiss chard, pak choi, tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs. This farm use’s a state of the art LED lighting system to ensure high output of crops year round.
IWCC hopes to use this system to create a technical program for aquaponics, helping educate future farmers.