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Demand for fish leads to barn renovations

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Written Tuesday, March 06, 2007  

Facilities that used to hold hundreds of pigs or chickens have been renovated and now house fresh farm-raised fish that are marketed in local grocery stores and restaurants in Ohio and Missouri, and Purdue University specialists hope to help Indiana farmers convert some facilities as well.

An IP-video conference that discusses what it takes to successfully convert a hog or poultry barn into an aquaculture production facility will be held March 8 from 7-9 p.m. at eight Indiana locations. There is no fee to attend the IP-video conference.

"Once an individual decides to pursue the renovation, we are here to help them learn the technical skills to get the fish to market size and into the market," said Kwamena Quagrainie, Purdue University Extension aquaculture marketing specialist. "During the process a species needs to be selected based on the market and then a recirculatory system can be chosen based on the species,"

The IP-video conference consists of three presentations. Laura Tiu of Ohio State University, will give an overview about the concept of converting an old barn into an aquaculture production facility. Shawn McWhorter, also of Ohio State, will present a case study that showcases the conversion process. Charles Hicks of Lincoln University, will focus on the costs involved and the materials needed to convert a hog or poultry barn to an aquaculture facility. Following the presentations, the specialists will answer participants' questions.

Contact information and the corresponding locations where the IP-video conference will be held are below. To register, call the appropriate number.

* Purdue's West Lafayette campus in Krannert, Room 661, Kwamena Quagrainie, (765) 494-4200.

* IU Southeast, Room 102 in New Albany, Tom Springstun, (812) 595-1479.

* Tell City Schergen Center in Tell City, Margie Zoglmann, (812) 547-7084.

Locations also include Purdue Extension offices in

* Bluffton, Bill Horan, (260) 824-6412.

* Fort Wayne, Gonzalee Martin, (260) 481-6826.

* Greenfield, Roy Ballard, (317) 462-1113.

* Kokomo, Allen Ullom, (765) 456-2313.

* Petersburg, Mario Restrepo, (812) 354-6838.

* Plymouth, Robert Yoder, (574) 935-8545.

* Portland, John Knipp, (260) 726-4707.

The IP-video conference is sponsored by the Purdue Aquaculture Team and the United States Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency. For more information and questions, contact Quagrainie at (775) 494-4200.

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