UK Happenings

FoodChain and UK Food Connection host first tilapia harvest

 student with tilapia aquaponics system
The first tilapia harvest from the Cornerstone aquaponics system, will take place Thursday, April 27.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2023) — FoodChain, a nonprofit organization increasing access to locally sourced, fresh food that is a Cornerstone Community Innovation Partner, and the University of Kentucky Food Connection are partnering to host the first tilapia harvest from the Cornerstone aquaponics system.

The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, starting at 2 p.m. for the harvest at the Cornerstone, and continuing at 4 p.m. with a cooking class at the Food Connection, at The 90, located at 440 Hilltop Avenue. Renowned Chef Tanya Whitehouse will be using the fresh harvest to teach attendees how to make fish tacos, which will be served at the event.

The Cornerstone FoodChain aquaponics system is a vertical food system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics to produce sustainable, high-quality fish and vegetables. Designed and built as part of the Community Innovation Partnership, UK Cornerstone is proud to have hosted this innovative system during their tenure as the partner. The FoodChain aquaponics system will soon be permanently housed at the Food Connection.

FoodChain aims to connect the Lexington community with fresh food and foster more active participation in the local food system through community outreach, tours, kitchen programming and activities on their aquaponics farm. The organization believes that community involvement is crucial in building a more just, equitable and sustainable food system for all.

“The Food Connection is thrilled to partner with FoodChain as a part of its residency at the Cornerstone,” said Ashton Wright, executive director of the Food Connection.

The Food Connection serves farmers, food producers, students and consumers by cultivating creative strategies and partnerships to support a vibrant, healthy and equitable local food economy.

The harvest event will showcase both missions — using locally grown food to feed the community.

“FoodChain and The Food Connection are both committed to cultivating vibrant and equitable local food systems and this partnership will advance both organizations’ missions to increase access to fresh local food and instill culinary confidence in consumers,” said Wright.

UK and Lexington community members are invited to attend.

For more information about the FoodChain and its mission, please visit 

For more information about the Food Connection and its programming, please visit

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