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MILWAUKEE

The North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) and the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA) are hosting the 2016 North Central Aquaculture Conference March 12-13 at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport.

The conference theme is 'Fresh Ideas for a Sustainable Aquaculture Industry,' according to WAA Secretary Cindy Johnson.

'The conference agenda is designed to provide relevant information to immediately help enhance the bottom line of those involved in fish farming,' she said. 'Information on NCRAC-funded research projects also will be shared at the conference.'

'This conference will provide a great opportunity for farmers to listen to the latest advances, updates, and techniques from many well-known experts in the industry,' stated Joe Morris, director of NCRAC.

The conference is open to all fish farmers — established or beginning — students, researchers, university staff, agriculture and fisheries department staff, and any others interested in aquaculture.

During the two-day event, there will be numerous opportunities for networking with other members of the aquaculture industry, leaders of various aquaculture associations, state agency staff and university researchers to help advance aquaculture.

A wide variety of vendors will be at the conference that provide products and service to help support and advance the industry.

Workshop sessions

'This year's conference will feature nine workshops and seminars designed for everyone interested in aquaculture — from someone who may want to get started in aquaculture to the seasoned aquaculturalist.' Johnson said.

A panel of experts will field questions on a variety of topics — including aquaponics, aquatic plant management, aeration in aquaculture and recirculating aquaculture systems

Business sessions include getting started in aquaculture, tourism and value-added products, aquaculture economics and the advantage of live-haul marketing and collective sales.

Discussions of best management practices will include best feeds and feeding techniques, fish health, fish stocking and water quality management.

Industry veterans will share real world experiences with starting an aquaponics operation, using pond side tanks to increase production, cool water and cold water production and marketing.

Other sessions will feature techniques to improve, walleye, sunfish and yellow perch production. Conference session begin at 8:30 a.m. both days.

Additional events

Activities begin Friday, March 11 with a pre-conference farm tour and such at Rushing Waters Fisheries near Palmyra, the state's largest trout farm.

There will be an aquaculture retail showcase Saturday evening, March 12 with displays of what other farms and producing and selling. A silent auction will take place to help support and conference and Wisconsin FFA-SAE aquaculture grant. A taste of Wisconsin aquaculture cooking demonstration and taste testing will also be held during the conference.

For more information about this conference, contact either the NCRAC office or Cindy Johnson (814-515-2570 cindy@WisconsinAquaculture.com).

To register for, or get more information on, the Rushing Waters tour, call 262-495-2089.

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