By: Laura Tiu, PhD, Director Ohio Aquaculture Extension Program
2014 was a banner year for the Aquaculture Extension Program (AEP) as it was the second year of our Aquaculture Boot Camp Project (see accompanying article). The team spent much of the year serving the needs of our Intensive, Intermediate and Introductory aquaculture clients with personal consultation, conferences, workshops, tours, and email and phone support.
In addition to Aquaculture Boot Camp, the Extension Team coordinated three well-attended workshops in 2014. The first, a workshop in Toledo, Ohio, was a collaborative effort with the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center and the Ohio Aquaculture Association. Many of the presentations from that workshop are available here. In April, we partnered with Kentucky State University and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to conduct an Aquaponics Workshop with a trip to Food Chain in Lexington, KY. In October, the team organized a Recirculation Aquaculture Workshop at the OSU Newark Campus which included a tour of a local RAS system in Frazeysburg, Ohio. The year finished off with an October Bus Tour of Farms to four farms in Ohio and an ethnic market that sells live fish in Columbus, OH.
Aquaculture Specialists presented information at multiple workshops throughout the year including Aquaculture America in Seattle, Washington; Washington, D.C.; and the Farm Science Review. Specialists also traveled to China with the Ohio Soybean Council and the Soy Aquaculture Association, and to Germany with the Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center to explore their aquaculture industries and explore opportunities for collaboration.
Multiple groups, both local and international (Pakistan, Israel, and Albania), enjoyed tours of the Aquaculture Research Center. Over forty individuals participated in our First Friday Aquaculture Tour program where on the first Friday of each month, participants register to tour the Aquaculture Center and learn first-hand about our research and Extension programs. Two local schools participated in tours and several K-12 teachers attended STEM training on using aquaculture and aquaponics in the classroom.
Aquaponics continues to be a hot topic this year and an aquaponics list serve was created to enhance the flow of information. Additionally, aquaculture and horticulture specialists at the South Centers teamed up to build the Center’s first aquaponics system. So far, we have successfully produced Russian kale, red lettuce and mizuna in the system using both tilapia and yellow perch. Additional research will be conducted in 2015 to further refine the project. Webinars are becoming a growing method of sharing information. We conducted two webinars in 2014 on aquaponics marketing and species selection for aquaponics.
Finally, a series of aquaculture videos was produced and is available on our website, southcenters.osu.edu. For additional information on any of our programs, feel free to visit our website or contact us directly.