ETTRICK — Virginia State University is hosting its annual Aquaculture Field Day Thursday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Randolph Farm, 4415 River Road. 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 for this program is to be paid before or on Oct. 22. To register for the field day, call (804) 524‑5496 or email Debra B. Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, contact Debra B. Jones at (804) 524‑5496 /TDD (800) 828‑1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 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.