Conference to focus on Wisconsin’s role in global aquaculture market — March 14-15

“Wisconsin Aquaculture: Meeting Global Challenges – Locally” is the focus of the Wisconsin Aquaculture conference to be held March 14-15 at the Holiday Inn Manitowoc in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

The annual event draws current and prospective fish farmers with an interest in finding their niche in today’s markets, researchers, veterinarians, extension agents, agriculture and natural resource technicians, and members of the public who want to learn more about fish farming.

Participants will look at how Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry currently competes in the world market, faces the challenges of economic viability and environmental sustainability, and rises to the threat of new diseases such as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS).

Speakers and business people from Wisconsin and around the country will discuss market trends, uncover farm programs for aquaculturists, and highlight advances in technology and innovative culture methods.

Sponsors of the Wisconsin Aquaculture Conference 2008 include the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association, Inc; the University of Wisconsin-Extension, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Letters and Science Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Roundy’s Supermarkets, and Nelson and Sons Silver Cup Feed.

Topics other than business are also on the program. Dani Klontz with Nelson & Sons Silver Cup Feed will return with a popular fish cooking seminar and demonstration. New this year is the judging of the Aquaculture Poster Contest, open to all Wisconsin high schools. The keynote luncheon speaker will be Bill Bonzheim, Director of Seafood, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc.

There is also a pre-conference trout workshop on March 13th to help Wisconsin trout farmers meet production of the fast growing trout food market.

Conference sessions include: Shape of the Industry, Farm Programs, VHS -Update, Aquaculture Co-ops, Fish Stocking, Poster Contest, Cooking Demonstration, Walleye Culture, Shrimp Farming, Perch and Ponds, Start-Up Aquaculture, and workshops on trout and bluegills.

The Trade Show will include vendors showing off the latest and best aquaculture equipment and services. There will also be a silent auction and raffle with proceeds going for FFA Aquaculture Proficiency Awards, Aquaculture High School Poster Contest and support of the aquaculture industry.

Conference registration is $100 per person ($130 for non-Wisconsin Aquaculture Association members); $85 for additional person same organization; $65 for spouse of an attendee; and $65 for students. The daily rate is $70 for Friday only or $60 Saturday. There is a $25 late fee after March 1, 2008 plus registration. There is a separate charge for the Trout Workshop on March 13th of $15.

To register for the conference and lodging information, contact Cindy Johnson, Wisconsin Aquaculture Association, 715-373-2990, or email

To make reservations call the Holiday Inn at 920-682-600 with booking code AQU. For more information contact Ron Johnson, UW-Extension aquaculture outreach specialist at 715-779-3189.