Students in Alvernia University’s Marketing Research Seminar (BUS 444) course presented detailed marketing plans for the viability of an aquaponic food bank to Sergei Szortyka, local philanthropist and owner/CEO of Quaker Maid Meats, this week.
Interested in the viability of a nonprofit source of fresh food for the local Reading area, Sergei Szortyka approached Alvernia’s Holleran Center for Community Engagement, which helped connect the class to the project. Assistant Business Professor Sam Bradley and two teams of students spent an entire semester working on the project to provide a detailed start-up marketing plan, market analysis, target market profile and size, and an organizational plan that included an initial rollout and a five-year staffing plan. The teams worked independently on the project and presented their recommendations to Szortyka in a formal presentation at the end of the semester.
“They hit the nail on the head,” said Szortyka. “Starting small and getting the community involved to grow is the way to go.”
Aquaponic farming uses an environmentally friendly symbiotic cultivation of plants and aquatic animals in a re-circulating water-based system that grows fish and a variety of crops.
Students participating in the project were Peter Attieh, Scott Christy, Eriksson Jimenez, Justin Moshensky, Alyss Reinsel, and Heather Swartz.