The threat of rain giving way to a light drizzle did little to dampen the spirits of those attending a groundbreaking that occurred Tuesday, Oct. 2 on Bulldog Drive behind the old Rossville High School.
It is there that Ryan Cox is in the process of expanding his business, Inner-City Aquaponics, by building a 5,000-gallon catfish hatchery.
"We are very excited about the opportunities that have presented themselves in the short time we've been in Walker County," Cox said regarding the business he started in May.
Aquaponics combines aquaculture, the raising of fish in tanks, with hydroponics, the cultivation of plants in a liquid medium.
The business uses the nutrient-rich water from tilapia tanks to simultaneously water and fertilize a variety of crops of vegetables and herbs.
The new pond should yield its first harvest early next summer, about the time Cox said he plans to expand his operations even further.
The entire output of farmed catfish has been pre-sold through 2015, he said.
Cox thanked Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell and local officials for the support they have shown his fledgling business, and Ridgeland High School for partnering their aquaponics program with his.
Representatives from Ridgeland and LaFayette High schools were on hand for the groundbreaking, and Cox said he wants every local school to have access to the facility.
"I am very proud of what Mr. Cox continues to accomplish here in Walker County," Heiskell said. It reminds us of what can be accomplished by hard work and determination."