Boot Camp Archives

About Aquaculture Boot Camp


The Ohio Center for Aquaculture Research and Development at The Ohio State University South Centers received an award from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop the Aquaculture Boot Camp (ABC) program for training new and beginning aquaculture farmers in production and business in Ohio and adjacent states. This was a joint effort of the Aquaculture, Business Development and Marketing teams at OSU South Centers.

The ultimate goal of this program was to utilize a multi-faceted approach, including classroom and hands-on training paired with industry mentoring, to improve the success rate of new and beginning aquaculture farmers. This was accomplished through the establishment and delivery of an ABC in which participants gain the skills and knowledge required to successfully own and operate a fish farm.

  • Provide tools for new and beginning farmers to enhance their aquaculture production success by developing and delivering production curriculum and hands-on practices.
  • Enhance the financial viability and business success of beginning aquaculture farmers by delivering business management and marketing strategies.
  • Strengthen success of new and beginning aquaculture farmers through the ABC mentorship and partnership with the industry via the Ohio Aquaculture Association (OAA) and other partners.

ABC offered the integrated training with "3-I" levels: Intensive, an in-depth level involving immersion in a year-long hands-on training and mentoring program; Intermediate, a mid-level involving participation in a variety of learning activities; and Introductory, a general level where sharing of information was the goal.

Intensive Program Delivery

ABC was the only hands-on aquaculture and business training program targeted toward new (less than 5 years in production) and beginning fish farmers. There were two one-year programs being offered, one in 2013 and one in 2014.  Twenty-five participants were selected for each one-year training program. During the year, students:

  • Participated in 12 one-day training experiences (the second Saturday of each month).
  • Attended three aquaculture workshops throughout the year at various locations in Ohio.
  • Participated in one Aquaculture Bus Tour of Farms.
  • Completed homework and study assignments on-line between monthly meetings.
  • Training was conducted at the OSU South Centers Aquaculture Research Center in Piketon, Ohio, and other cooperating aquaculture-related facilities across the state.
  • Trainers/Mentors represented a wide range of disciplines:
    • College and University Educators
    • Government Specialists
    • Business Professionals
    • Experienced Aquaculture Producers
  • Educational content addressed:
    • Aquaculture production training
    • Business Planning
    • Marketing