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Farmers turn from hogs to fish

by 5m Editor
8 March 2007, at 7:33am

US - Let them eat fish.

That’s the idea behind converting old hog and poultry barns into aquaculture production facilities. The Allen County Extension office will be one site presenting a live video on the possibility 7-9 p.m. Thursday.

“A lot of these hog barns are sitting there, and they can be utilized,” said Gonzalee Martin, extension educator agriculture/natural resources. He sees great possibilities for farmers interested in giving it a try.

“Selling the fish won’t be a problem,” Martin said. Restaurants and fish-fry organizers might welcome the source.

With studies touting the nutritional value of fish, as well as possible connections to improving memory, Shawn McWhorter, a research associate/aquaculture specialist at Ohio State University’s satellite site in Bowling Green, sees a growing popularity of aquaculture.

“It’s getting more mainstream,” he said.

One hog and crop operation he worked with was losing $5,000 to $7,000 a week, and the fourth-generation family decided to try aquaculture, he said. But it’s not cheap to start, and McWhorter cautions against just plunging in. A farmer in Bellevue, Ohio, spent $250,000 to set up an aquaculture facility. It drew quite a reaction from neighbors, who might not have batted an eye if he had spent the money on farm machinery.

Source: FortWayne.com

5m Editor