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PostPosted: May 26th, '12, 11:06 
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I've attended only the first day of a 4 day seminar in Santa Cruz, California and I'm very impressed with the instructor, Max Meyers. He's clearly passionate, extremely bright and articulate, and is pushing forward research in defining the best balance of microorganisms in the water. I'm looking very forward to the next 3 days in his class.


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PostPosted: May 26th, '12, 12:02 
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That is excellent news, Scupper. I'm pleased that your seminar fee investment is paying dividends, so far at least. Apparently there are some not so good and less knowledgeable presenters doing the circuit. Maybe it is time for some kind of professional association with instructor accreditation.

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PostPosted: May 26th, '12, 14:00 
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I lived in Santa Cruz for 20 years or so I can attest that the Agroecology department at UCSC is second to none. If they are involved it will be good.


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PostPosted: May 26th, '12, 21:55 
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Given that I'm new to AP, I may not be a good judge, but I do have an extensive educational background including top universities in engineering down to courses that I couldn't bear to sit through more than an hour. Max holds your attention and moves through the material at a good clip.

There are about 200 in the class and many have traveled quite far to be here. The quality of questions is high with many professional growers in the audience.

After reading a bit on this forum last night, I'm thinking the question is not so much whether Max Meyers is an opportunist or genuine (he seems genuine to me), but whether commercial AP will develop into a viable industry. I was wondering why AP is not being developed in every agriculture university department in the US, and had to consider if it is being suppressed by giant agribusiness and food suppliers. Or is it just not commercially viable?


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PostPosted: May 26th, '12, 22:13 
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As to the comment about the possible need for an AP accreditation, I'd like to warn you against this. I live in the US and our society has been quite damaged by over-regulation. Licenses and certifications end up being only a vehicle for an agency to take control over people's individual decisions. It also sets up a structure for monopoly of an industry by simply infiltrating the certification/governing board and then slowly steering the industry in a self-serving direction.

Forums such as this are your answer, IMHO.


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PostPosted: May 27th, '12, 18:54 
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Scupper wrote:
As to the comment about the possible need for an AP accreditation, I'd like to warn you against this.
I think I understand what you are saying, Scupper, and don't necessarily disagree. Many would argue that we are already way over-regulated here in Australia, as well, for instance how many other countries deem it illegal to ride a bicycle without a crash helmet?
What I was thinking was more along the lines of self regulation by the growing AP industry, perhaps through respective national associations, and with government oversight but not government control. I have little experience of such associations and how they can come off the rails, however, having worked for the government (Australian Army) for much of my life. I bow to your greater knowledge in this regard.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '12, 20:49 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Evert attempt that we have seen to setup a such an organisation in Australia and in the US has been tainted by the apparent self serving nature of the people behind the founding of the organisation. The purpose of the oganisation seemed aimed at promoting and marketing the founding members.

I'm all for profit motive being a valid and sensible motivating force but none of the people behind these proposed organisations has ever inspired me with any confidence. Especially when it comes to commercial AP since none of them have actually built or run a commercial ap system.

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PostPosted: May 27th, '12, 21:58 
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That is exactly what I see here in the states. Even the self regulating agencies become corrupt and soon no longer serve the greater good of the industry but rather become vehicles for manipulation. I'm somewhat familiar with an organization in the states which self governs, the fire service, NFPA. Each committee is represented by 1/3rd firefighters, 1/3rd manufacturers, and 1/3rd "other" in hopes of keeping a balance in the decisions. However this doesn't seem to happen and the manufacturers continue to have control. Fire departments won't fund their firefighters to attend the meetings, and then manufacturers stack the deck with "others" who are in the pocket of the manufacturers.

I don't know how you set up an organization so it's non-corruptible. It seems that whenever power is concentrated, it will be abused. So the better approach seems to be one which educates and empowers individuals to make better decisions such as forums. Thank you Backyard Aquaponics for this forum; look what a fabulous service it provides!


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PostPosted: May 28th, '12, 08:16 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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There are many organisations in Australia that collect fees and use those to promote and develop the industry that they are in involved in. How well they do so depends on who you talk to. All the organisations grew out of relationships between various producers and/or manufacturers to serve a perceived need that the various players in the sector thought was there. For new members to the industry/sector there can sometimes be some griping about the fees involved but the organisations can present a pretty reasonable case for the value that they offer (organic certifying bodies for instance). AP is just not ready for such an organisation.

First off you don't have any producers to serve just supposed providers of products to promote and since one of the best sources of information on AP (even commercial AP) is this forum which is free they have had no benefits to offer any prospective producers.

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