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ARS/NIFA National Aquaculture Stakeholder Workshop

A USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) National Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop was held April 15-17, 2008 at the Airport Hilton Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri. The workshop focused on research, technology transfer, integrated research-extension programs, and linkages with key partners. It was designed to provide stakeholders, customers, and partners with the opportunity to participate in planning the direction of public investments in USDA aquaculture programs for the next five years. April 15-16 consisted of stakeholder input and interactions; April 17 was the USDA post-workshop session devoted to action plan development.

The workshop was for aquaculture farmers and their representatives; manufacturers of aquacultural products and technology developers; veterinarians; researchers from federal, commercial, and university laboratories and experiment stations; extension specialists; and anyone having problems that can be addressed by USDA-funded aquaculture programs. It was an opportunity to make new professional contacts and to further understand the diversity of aquaculture programs administered by ARS and NIFA.

Output from the USDA National Aquaculture Stakeholder Workshop is now available for review on the USDA Agricultural Research Service Web site. This URL leads to a site for the workshop program. The PowerPoint presentations made at the workshop that are available for viewing can be accessed by clicking on the presentation titles. Additionally, the output from each breakout session is in an MS Word document that can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the highlighted item in the workshop agenda.

A draft Action Plan for the ARS Aquaculture National Program (National Program 106) has also been posted on the ARS Web site.

The Action Plan draws upon many sources of input, including information from written stakeholder comments, output from the Kansas City Stakeholder Workshop, NIFA Regional Aquaculture Centers, ongoing discussions with commodity groups, various industry sectors, non-governmental organizations, university partners, and ARS scientists and administrators.  The plan is currently in draft form and will remain open to revision and comment until September 30, 2008.  Please provide comments to: Jeff Silverstein, ARS National Program Leader for Aquaculture

NIFA has used output from the Kansas City Stakeholder Workshop to identify aquatic animal pathogens of highest priority for one of the competitive grant programs in the National Research Initiative, communicated output to the Small Business Innovation Research program, and sought integration of output into NIFA Multi-state research projects. NIFA plans to develop a roadmap specific to aquaculture after completion of an agency-wide roadmap as required in the new Farm Bill and will continue to integrate or inform this output with the non-competitive grants and the Regional Aquaculture Centers.


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