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March 5, 2007

Demand for fish leads to barn renovations

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Facilities that used to hold pigs or chickens are being renovated to house fresh farm-raised fish that are marketed to local grocery stores and restaurants in Ohio and Missouri, and Purdue University specialists hope the practice catches on in Indiana.

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

"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 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 videoconference 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 videoconference will take place 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.

* 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 videoconference is sponsored by the Purdue Aquaculture Team and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency. For more information and questions, contact Quagrainie at (775) 494-4200.

Writer: Julie Douglas, (765) 496-1050,

Source: Kwamena Quagrainie, (765) 494-4200,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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