As the freshwater shrimp in his ponds continued to grow and multiply, Charles Carter knew he had a good product to sell.
Dan Kauffman (left) is helping shrimp producers expand their markets through shrimp boils.
In his second year of production, Carter wanted to create product buzz in order to sell a portion of his production to local consumers. Carter was already selling his product wholesale as a member of the Virginia Aqua-Farmers Network Cooperative, but he also wanted to market retail.
And he knew just where to look for assistance — Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Enter Dan Kauffman, Extension seafood marketing specialist at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton.
Kauffman had been helping freshwater shrimp producers get their products to market, which also involved another part of his résumé — his fondness for shrimp boils.
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“Virginia is poised to be an excellent player in the aquaculture industry with its superb access to markets in Washington, D.C., and New York and its attractive labor pool.”
Due to demand and population growth projections in the United States, the forecasted domestic seafood gap in 2025 is 2 million to 4 million tons, a national resource deficit second only to oil.
Assistant Professor of Food Science and Technology David Kuhn is working to capitalize on this demand to strengthen the aquaculture industry in the commonwealth, and his efforts will have far-reaching impacts beyond Virginia’s borders.
“In terms of a global view, fish is a good way to get protein into people’s diets,” said Kuhn.
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BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 17, 2015 – As the freshwater shrimp in his ponds continued to grow and multiply, Charles Carter knew he had a good product to sell.
In his second year of production, Carter wanted to create product buzz to sell a portion of his production to local consumers. As a member of the Virginia Aquafarmers Network, Carter was already selling product wholesale, but also wanted to market retail.
Carter, whose family has owned the Shirley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia, for 11 generations, knew just where to look for assistance — Virginia Cooperative Extension.
He had already relied heavily on the expertise of Brian Nerrie, a seafood Extension specialist from Virginia State University, to help get his shrimp operation off the ground. Carter used the many online resources about starting a fresh water shrimp operation and asked Nerrie countless questions along the way about everything from feeding to harvesting. Now he needed to expand his market.
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4-H Extension Agent Beth Hawse works with students in an activity where they learn the anatomy of trout.
By Emily Halstead, Virginia Cooperative Extension Communications and Marketing Intern
Fish are playing an active role in helping sixth-graders in several Virginia schools learn more about the natural environment.
The Trout in the Classroom program, created by 4-H Extension Agent Beth Hawse, allowed students to raise trout and monitor their growth as well as to experience the release of the fish at the end of the yearlong curriculum.
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The Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors. L to R: Valin Booker, George Wenn. ©Jen Armstrong/VASG
By Julia Robins, Staff Writer
Early in September, the 32nd annual Hampton Bay Days festival attracted an estimated 200,000 people seeking to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay. Among the weekend’s popular attractions was a booth operated on Saturday by the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Ambassadors (SFAAs).
“We could hardly set up and break down our tents without a visitor inquiring about our display,” says George Wenn, a Hampton University senior and SFAA.
All day long, children ran to the SFAA booth to look at the many tanks containing eels, cobia, and black sea bass, among others. People of all ages lined up from start to finish of the day to hear about sustainable seafood and bay species.
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