Each winter, the North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference draws more than 200 fish farmers, scientists and industry newcomers from across the Southeast to discuss research and current marketing trends for farm-raised fish and seafood. The 2014 gathering will take place Feb. 20-22 in New Bern. The NCDA&CS is one of the conference sponsors.
This year’s conference will focus on how aquaculture fits into emerging consumer markets. The conference will feature tours of North Carolina fish farms and facilities, research presentations and workshops to foster success in both freshwater and marine aquaculture.
The keynote speaker will be Debbie Hamrick, director of specialty crops for the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation. Hamrick has tracked macro-trends affecting consumer spending and agriculture, including urbanization and the role of millennials as economic drivers. Her address will cover topics such as how to position farm-raised fish into a market dominated by urban consumers, and how to use metrics to determine future demand.
Other speakers include Karen Hudson of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Dave Haider of Urban Organics, Dr. Carole R. Engle of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and Anthony Marchetti of Rappahannock River Oysters.
The event also includes the AquaFood Fest, a dinner with an array of the state’s finest farm-raised fish and shellfish. The AquaFood Fest will be held on the Friday evening of the conference. In addition, there will be a pre-conference workshop on aquaponics Wednesday, Feb. 19.
You can download the conference brochure by clicking on the following link: NCADC FINAL Draft conference brochure (2). Deadline for early-bird registration is Feb. 13. Online registration and hotel information are available at www.ncaquaculture.org.