Oak Ridge, Tenn. – ORNL Federal Credit Union today announced it had provided financing to Greater Growth LLC, a Lenoir City startup business specializing in aquaponics, a natural form of hydroponics that uses the nutrient rich effluence from farm raised fish to fertilize plant growth rather than manufactured fertilizers.
Owned by Joel and Linda Townsend, the Greater Growth operation will be completely free of herbicides and pesticides qualifying it for USDA Organic Certification. According to the USDA, organic farming has been one of the fastest growing segments of United States agriculture for more than a decade with a recent average year to year increase of 15 percent.
“ORNL FCU is proud to support community and economic development in this way as Greater Growth will not only create agricultural jobs, but it is also an organic and green business that will highlight our region as being a key player in the creation of a highly desirable product in an expanding industry,” explained Chris Johnson, ORNL FCU President/CEO. “Greater Growth’s ‘locally grown’ initiative is supported by the presence of major grocery chains and specialty stores in our area who are emphasizing, more than ever, the sale of organic and locally grown farm products.”
According to the Townsends, the operation also will utilize the local restaurant industry as an additional source of sales and will utilize solar paneling to generate much of its electricity as well as gathering rain water for use within its system.
ORNL Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative locally owned and operated by its members for the benefit of all who belong. Established in 1948 with 10 founding members, ORNL Federal Credit Union’s assets have grown to over $1 billion and membership has grown to over 150,000. Open to all businesses and anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in the 16 counties of Central East Tennessee, ORNL Federal Credit Union currently serves members in 32 branches located throughout Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Hamblen, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Roane, Sevier and Union counties. For more information about ORNL Federal Credit Union, visit www.ornlfcu.com.