Aquaculture Business Management Workshop set for Oct. 4


A half-day workshop designed to help fish producers improve the financial health of their business is set for Oct. 4 at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The Aquaculture Business Management and Marketing Workshop will be held from 1-5 p.m. in the 1890 Extension Auditorium.

Sponsored by the National Aquaculture Association, the United Soybean Board and the UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center, the free workshop provides tools to help aquaculture businesses remain competitive in difficult economic times. Workshop speakers include Dr. Carole Engle, director of the UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center; Dr. Madan Dey, a UAPB professor of aquaculture marketing; and Linda O’Dierno, NAA outreach specialist.

The first part of the workshop emphasizes the economic trade-offs among management options for fish farms dealing with high feed and other costs. The workshop includes a quick system for assessing the financial health of the farm business. Hands-on exercises highlight specific financial indicators to identify financial problems in one’s specific business as well as how to prioritize management strategies to address those specific financial problems.

Real-world fish farm scenarios will be discussed and each participant will receive a take-home toolkit to reinforce the information presented.

The workshop emphasizes user-friendly models to make critical decisions related to key fish farm management decisions. Summaries of research results related to feeding frequency, winter feeding and economic models related to farm production will also be discussed.

To help growers refine their marketing plans, summaries of trends in pricing and quantities sold of the key regional aquaculture products will be presented and market reports provided. Prices, promotion and trends for the most important competing products will also be analyzed. Individual growers can request customized reports which would cost thousands of dollars in another setting.

Diversification strategies including e-marketing, Community Supported Agriculture, niche marketing, farmers markets, product branding and exporting will be discussed. Product placement, pricing and cost-effective distribution schemes will be emphasized. Organizational structures, contract growing and multi-level marketing will be covered. The goal is to provide tactics that can reduce costs and increase profits.

The workshop is being held on the afternoon of Aquaculture/Fisheries Field Day at UAPB, which is from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Aquaculture Research Station. The event will feature split-pond system demonstrations and sessions on new treatments and management of aquatic weeds; the latest disease issues, new regulatory issues and other topics.

Individuals interested in the Aquaculture Business Workshop must pre-register by contacting Almetris Cobbs at 870-575-8141 or acobbs@uaex.edu to provide name and contact information.