For the first time, West Virginia's annual Aquaculture Forum will be held jointly with organizations from Pennsylvania at the Martinsburg Holiday Inn. You are invited to attend the 2013 Multi-State Aquaculture Forum on at the Holiday Inn on Saturday, Jan. 25 & 26 in Martinsburg, WV.
Producer associations, regulators, and educators are working together on a program for people growing fish for profit and people growing fish for fun.
The opening session will feature Jay Whelan, PhD, Head of Nutrition at University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a presentation on Fish as a Functional Food, and Carole Engle, Director of the Aquaculture Program at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff with a presentation considering the future of aquaculture in the region.
The session for commercial producers will feature industry updates, research highlights, panels on marketing, presentations on commercial aquaponics, development of the aquaculture industry, and aquatic invasive species.
The session for people growing fish for personal use will feature presentations on pond construction, permits, weed control, personal aquaponics, water quality, aquaculture education, purchasing fish, and products for managing your pond.
Activities include a reception featuring regional aquaculture products, vendor booths, door prizes, a poster session highlighting aquaculture research results, and a meeting of the West Virginia Aquaculture Association.
Participants will receive information on a wide variety of topics and learn about where to get fish, feed, supplies, and information about growing aquaculture products.
A tour of this USDA National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture is scheduled for Friday evening. The mission of this laboratory is to support and enhance the nation's cool and cold water aquaculture production through research and technology transfer. Research programs focus primarily on rainbow trout and include applied genetics and breeding, integrated aquatic animal health, aquaculture engineering, nutrition, physiology, culture and management, and product quality.
The registration fee is $45 for the two- day meeting and includes a meal at noon on each day. Friday's field trip is free, but registration is required and must be received by Jan. 15.
As more details become available, information will be posted on the West Virginia University website (http://aquaculture.ext.wvu.
The event is sponsored by the West Virginia University Extension Service, Penn Ag Industries, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the West Virginia Aquaculture Association the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
Please consider joining fish folks and other farmers in Martinsburg the last weekend in January.It's a great networking opportunity and a time to savor locally grown and prepared West Virginia foods and learn about growing your own.