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March 20, 2017

FHS students demonstrate aquaponics at forum

Contributed photo
Fauquier High School students Jessica Gray and Dylan Kezele explain the mobile aquaponics display at a recent Future Farmers of America forum.
Jessica Gray and Dylan Kezele with Virginia Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Basil Gooden.
Two Fauquier High School members of Future Farmers of America attended the Forum for Rural Innovation March 10 in Winchester.

Students Jessica Gray and Dylan Kezele attended the annual event that showcases new projects and programs that enhance farm or rural business profitability.

Individual farms, businesses and universities from Virginia and West Virginia presented their plans for adapting to and driving change in agriculture.

The students heard guest speakers discuss business ventures, learned about marketing agriculture products and met with Virginia Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Basil Gooden and Assistant Secretary Dr. Megan Seibel to talk about trends in agriculture.

Both students act as officers in the Fauquier FFA Chapter.

Jessica, a budding florist, studies horticulture and agriculture business.

Dylan studies horticulture, natural resources and animal systems.

At the forum, Dylan described and explained a Mobile Aquaculture display to Dr. Gooden and Dr. Siebel.

A complete aquaponics system, growing fish and plants together, the display is constructed on a 20-foot trailer that can be moved to events throughout Virginia.

The display is a joint venture among the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Virginia State University and Fauquier High School.
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