Aquaponics System Technologist

Rafferty Farms - A division of Earthis Ltd. Published: July 26, 2020
Okotoks, Alberta
Internship Type
Salary range
about $33,000 CAD to start
Hours per week
Start Date
End Date


Earthis Ltd. had its humble beginnings as a Calgary based commercial/industrial LED lighting company
established in 2009 called Streamline LED. Even early on there was a strong emphasis on carrying
high quality products that were the most energy efficient and cutting edge at the time. As we began
experimenting with agricultural lighting products, our passion grew towards food security and

In the fall of 2015, we self funded our first 1200 sqft vertical aquaponics farm prototype
in Okotoks AB. Since then, we have been able to get our products (basil, microgreens, pea shoots, edible flowers, mint, etc.)
to market through a Western Canadian distributor called Galimax Trading. Our produce is now
carried in a number of restaurants and grocers across AB, including Sobeys, River Cafe, Blush Lane,
Community Natural Foods, Chateau Lake Louise, among others. In the past several years, we have been able to refine our
vertical growing technology, and implement other sustainable technologies like: LED lighting, solar
panels, solar thermal collectors, wind turbines, rainwater catchment systems, bio-digestion
vessels, and geothermal technologies. All in an effort to reduce our energy footprint, improve efficiency, and strive towards a scalable and repeatable waste-free closed-loop production system.

In the fall of 2018, we took out our first major loan with BDC, to expand the greenhouse to a bigger and better facility (8000 sqft), which gave us a shot at becoming financially sustainable, and help establish a sustainable tech-enabled vertical farming sector in AB. In 2019, we completed this expansion, which helped improve our sales further. We are now a team of 3 FTEs and wish to increase this to 4 in the near future as we are soon to attain our ISO 22000 certification, which will help us expand into larger grocery chains. As part of our expansion plans, we will need talented and innovative people to help us grow and innovate at Rafferty Farms, which grows produce all year round for Alberta. As we prepare for this growth phase in our business, we are looking for a young and passionate Aquaponics System Technologist to join our team.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Learn about and uphold ISO 22000 and food safety standard of the operation
  • Harvesting and packaging of our products for our distributor
  • Perform, record, and interpret water testing results, implement treatment plans as needed
  • Feed and diagnose fish for possible ailments. Quarantine and treat as needed
  • Diagnose deficiencies in plants, implement treatment plan as needed
  • Understand the mechanical systems that need to be maintained and be able to diagnose and
    resolve system issues
  • Conduct routine maintenance checks to ensure all systems are operational. This also helps us detect early signs of potential system failures.
  • Assist with continuous research and development in improving the growing system
  • Maintain and assist with clean technologies as needed
  • Establish new or create more efficient processes in the expanded operation. It is crucial that we attain every efficiency possible.
  • Clean facilities in adherence to our ISO standards
  • Prepare and package food products in our AHS certified space
  • Other relevant duties as necessary

Knowledge and skills

At minimum:

  • Ability to work hands on with tools and mechanical systems
  • Basic understanding of clean technology, aquaponics systems, basic biology, botany, and aquaculture.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Able to understand interaction of chemicals, handling and storing them
  • Food service experience is beneficial

Education required

Because aquaponics is a new sector with a very broad application of knowledge and skills, we are
willing to consider candidates that have related education (college or university) in agriculture,
biology, botany, bio chemistry, environmental sciences, business & environment, clean technology trades, etc.

Certification required

Not applicable

Eligibility criteria

Career-Launcher Internships are funded by the Government of Canada under the Youth Employment Strategy. For program criteria information visit their website.


Qualified interns are:

  • Post-secondary students and graduates
  • No more than 30 years of age at the start of the internship
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada*
  • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations
  • Available to work for at least six months
  • Not previous participants of a federal youth employment program
  • Not employees of the hiring employer prior to the start of their internship (does not apply to previous coop students or student interns)

*Refugee protection must be conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Persons awaiting refugee status, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, student visa or work visa, are ineligible to participate in a Youth Employment Strategy initiative.

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