PIKETON, Ohio – An innovative aquaculture program offered by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University will hold a workshop July 10-11 to provide an in-depth look at the increasingly popular fish farming industry.
Held at the Ohio Center for Aquaculture Research and Development at Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon, the workshop will offer current and future fish farmers, and anyone else interested in aquaculture, an opportunity to learn more about managing a fish farming operation, said Estefania James, an Ohio State University Extension aquaculture program coordinator.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college. The OSU South Centers also are part of the college.
Aquaculture -- which includes the breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals in ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean for food, sport, bait, ornamental fish, sea vegetables, fish eggs and algae -- is a strong and growing industry globally thanks to increasing demand from consumers looking for healthy food options, experts say.
In Ohio, there are about 200 fish farmers registered statewide, according to a 2010 survey by Ohio State. And many of them say they’d like to gain additional training in innovative production techniques, according to the survey.
“Interest in aquaponics in Ohio continues to be high as growers look for efficient and green ways of production,” James said. “This workshop will offer in-depth, hands-on training covering different aquaponics methods, aquaponics food production, business aspects and marketing strategies, how to handle and maintain your fish and plants, and much more.”
The two-day workshop, which will be held at the OSU South Centers’ Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road in Piketon, will feature presentations from industry experts including:
· Ryan Chatterson, owner and operator of Chatterson Farms, a commercial aquaponic farm in Florida. Chatterson has over a decade experience in aquaponics.
· Allen Pattillo, an Iowa State University Extension educator.
· Jeni Blackburn, co-owner and operator of Fresh Harvest Farms, an Ohio-based aquaponics facility.
· Lori Klintworth, owner and operator of Local Sprouts Aquaponics LLC, also based in Ohio.
Some of the topics include:
· The Evolution of Commercial Aquaponics Design
· Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Design
· Fundamental Concepts of Fish Production
· Food Safety and Human Health Considerations in Aquaponics
· Design a Semi-Commercial Aquaponics System
· How to Manage your Fish Tank
· How to Prepare for Emergencies
· Water Quality
Registration is $75 per person or $50 for members of the Ohio Aquaculture Association, which is a sponsor of the workshop. Registration fees include all materials and breakfast and lunch each day. To register, go to go.osu.edu/AquaponicsWorkshop. The deadline to register is June 26.
To view the two-day schedule or to get more information, visit the event website at ohioaquaculture.org/events.html.