The International Falls Economic Development Authority (EDA) unanimously approved a development agreement between the EDA and Mariner Farms, LLC, enabling Mariner Farms, LLC to purchase 1.5 acres in the Multi Modal District to establish an aquaponic farm. The aquaponic farm will operate in a water based, closed loop system, to grow primarily lettuce, green peppers, basil, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. The nutrients needed to grow the plants are produced by tilapia, which are also harvested. Duck weed and algae are grown within the system and used as fish food.
The facility is a patent pending design, and will consume about 11,000 square feet total. Mariner Farms, LLC has also been granted first right of refusal for an additional 1.5 acres adjacent to the project site to accommodate future growth.
Leadership from Mesabi Community College and Rainy River Community visited the test facility in Silver Bay, Minnesota and is working with Mariner Farms’ representatives to incorporate the aquaponic farming operation into their curriculum. It is anticipated the college’s solid science programs will benefit from experiential learning; and curriculum will be enhanced by lab experiments and research for students who have an interest in biology, botany, environmental science, chemistry and bioengineering.
The facility will generate approximately six jobs; (four full-time living wage jobs with benefits, and two full-time equivalent positions for students seeking internships). The company will also pay approximately $18,500.00 in property taxes annually.
For more information on the facility, please contact EDA Community and Economic Development Director Shawn Mason, email@example.com 218-283-7996.