VSU Event Helps Boost Virginia's Freshwater Aquaculture Production

Virginia State University is hosting their annual Aquaculture Field Day Thursday, October 22, 2015 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Randolph Farm, 4415 River Road, Ettrick, Virginia. The event features demonstrations related to aquaculture and aquaponics management, production and harvesting.

Aquaculture, one of the fastest growing food-producing sectors, now accounts for nearly 50 percent of the world's food fish. Virginia State University’s Cooperative Extension Aquaculture program is the state’s leading provider of freshwater aquaculture outreach and education. The university shares the management of Virginia’s Cooperative Extension program with Virginia Tech and primarily focuses on educating and assisting small, limited resource farmers. VSU's aquaculture program educates small farmers about and assists them with raising aquaculture products in ponds, cages and greenhouses to diversify their operations in order to earn supplemental income. In the U.S., aquaculture production is worth about $1.2 billion annually.

The keynote speaker for the event is John Graham, owner of a Bedford County fish farm, where he raises and sells trout, hybrid striped bass, tilapia, channel catfish and black sea bass directly to consumers and restaurants.

Registration is to be paid before or on October 22, 2015. To register for the field day, call (804) 524-5496 or email Debra B. Jones at dbjones@vsu.edu. The registration fee is $10, which includes a farm-raised catfish lunch, demonstrations, networking opportunities with new and experienced producers, and speakers on current best practices and other innovative programs in these areas. For more information, call Dr. Brian Nerrie at (804) 524-5903.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Debra B. Jones at (804) 524-5496 /TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.