It All Started With Beer…
As any good story does.
Really, it began with Tripp Frey—a recently replanted Grand Rapidian who had spent the last 10 years in Oregon building the outdoor apparel line TREW. Back home in GR, Tripp got connected with Chip George. Because, if there’s a Tripp and a Chip within a 10-mile radius of each other, the universe practically insists that they meet. The universe also insisted it be over a couple of IPAs. Who were Chip and Tripp to argue?
A round or two later, they were deep in a discussion about their mutual interest in sustainability, environmental consciousness, and how, through aquaponics, they could create a positive impact on food production worldwide. There was probably a little college football talk, too.
As Tripp and Chip became more interested in the idea of aquaponics, they stumbled upon Ben Kant, an expert in aquaponics who was currently running a successful aquaponics farm in Chicago. Eventually, they convinced Ben to join their endeavor. It may have been Tripp and Chip’s powers of persuasion, but, more likely, it was the allure of taking aquaponics to the next level and building an Even. Larger. Facility. Cue evil genius laughter…
With Ben on board, Revolution Farms became a reality. And, also became the first commercial aquaponics facility in Michigan.
If you’re reading this, the first harvest is already underway. With much more to come—stay tuned!
Leading and Advancing Aquaponics
As conditions change for food production—like climate, labor, sustainability, and market preferences—industry has an obligation to respond. We believe greenhouse aquaponics is a solution to the many challenges faced by the future of agriculture.
As with any process, there’s always opportunity to evolve. Our vision is to take the aquaponics technology of today and continuously improve it for tomorrow. Our goal is to share our successes, learn from our mistakes, and lead the aquaponics industry into maturity.
Serving the Local Market
We’re committed to our neighbors in Grand Rapids and all of Michigan. We want to see more local food on our own tables, and we know you do, too. Aquaponics allows us to bring fresh produce year round to what is viewed as a summer-only region. A thriving farming community already exists here, and we're excited to add a new dimension to it!
Tripp is a serious adventurer who is fueled by being at the intersection of sustainability, social responsibility, and business. And, as the father of two newborns: Revolution Farms and his son Renner, he needs all the fuel he can get!
Conservationist, outdoorsman, entrepreneur, and family man, every one of Tripp’s undertakings is guided by a mission to make a better world for the next generation.
When he’s not using his business savvy to improve the way produce is grown, transported, and consumed, he enjoys getting outside with his wife and friends to breathe in the fresh air and take in the wide open space.
Tripp earned his undergrad degree at University North Carolina and his MBA at University of Michigan. Go Heels and Go Blue!
Ben is a sci-fi enthusiast whose imagination is always concocting new, sometimes far out, ideas. He’s the one who wants to have the first aquaponics farm on Mars, remember? But, he’s not just a futuristic dreamer, he’s also very much grounded in the reality of bringing Revolution Farms from a fuzzy concept to a fully realized success.
In Ben’s visions, he sees how biological technologies can bring the natural world closer to the urban one. He’s able to blend his deep affinity for aquatic creatures and plants with a seemingly disparate background in finance and management to form a distinctly revolutionary, remarkably sustainable solution.
Ben is a LEED AP who has earned degrees from the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), the University of St. Andrews, and Brandeis University.
It was serendipity that helped land Kaitlyn her job at Revolution Farms. Actually, it was an electrician working on the facility. Who also happens to be her brother. The important part is that everyone was at the right place at the right time, and she is now living her dream of hanging out with both fish and plants—together. How lucky can one woman get?! And, how lucky is Revolution Farms to find a farm manager with such specialized expertise? Serendipity, indeed.
Kaitlyn is a West Michigan native who, when not working her day job managing the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants, spends her free time in the outdoors hiking, backpacking, and fishing. Does anyone else see a pattern here?
Kaitlyn earned her undergrad degree in Natural Resource Management and her Masters in Biology with an Aquatic Sciences emphasis—both from Grand Valley State University. She is especially excited to see her studies, experience, and passion for sustainability come together in aquaponics.