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Marshfield - Registration is now open for the 2017 Wisconsin Aquaculture Conference slated for March 3-4 at the Hotel Marshfield.

The 22nd annual event will be preceded by the workshop Permitting and Licensing: What You Need to Know for Startup and Existing Farms. “This will be a valuable workshop to help farmers understand what they need to do to keep their farms in compliance with the state regulations governing aquaculture,” said Cindy Johnson, Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA) secretary.

“With global demand for more farm-raised fish, the theme, ‘“Moving Ahead to the Future,’” highlights the efforts the association has made to help farms become more viable while still utilizing environmentally sound practices,” she added.

The two-day conference offers networking opportunities and educational sessions for those interested in Midwest aquaculture. Johnson noted that this year’s conference will include extended talks on both Coldwater and Coolwater aquaculture as well as aquaponics. “Other talks will focus on aeration, RAS systems, nets, workforce training, farm valuation, farm insurance, and FSA programs,” Johnson related.

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel will welcome fish farmers and aquaculture enthusiasts to the conference, with State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R - Hazelhurst), addressing attendees later in the day. Ann O’Leary, Wisconsin’s 69th Alice in Dairyland is scheduled for an early evening appearance.

The Wisconsin Aquaculture Conference will feature top regional and national experts as speakers, such as this years’ keynote speaker, Paul Zajicek, executive director of the National Aquaculture Association, speaking on Challenges and Opportunities for US Aquaculture. 

The event also features a Trade Show with over 20 vendors represented, a Silent Auction, and the Taste of Wisconsin Aquaculture Cooking Demonstration using recipes featuring Wisconsin-grown fish.

“Aquaculture, or fish farming, is an important part of the state’s agriculture industry contributing to local economies,” Johnson stressed. “Wisconsin ranks first in the Midwest for aquaculture and bolsters a $21 million economic impact to the state. Wisconsin is home to more than 2,400 fish farms that range from producing food fish, to pond and lake stocking, and bait for recreational fishing, and is a leader in aquaponics.”

registration is open to both members and non members. One-day registration is also offered. The fee for nonmembers includes a complimentary one-year membership to Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA). To register online, visit the website at www.WisconsinAquaculture.com or contact WAA Secretary Cindy Johnson at 814-515-2570 or cindy@WisconsinAquaculture.com for more information.

The Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA) is the voice of aquaculture in the Badger state. An industry led and producer centered organization dedicated to promoting, educating and advocating for economic vitality and environmental sustainability while aiding the expansion of aquaculture in Wisconsin. WAA is a member of the Something Special from Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the Wisconsin Agriculture Tourism Association.

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