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Chinese Aquaculture Experts Begin US Tour with Michigan Soybeans, Trout

19 July 2012

CHINA and US - The China National Fishery Technical Extension Centre Delegation, a group representing provincial aquaculture interests in China, began a United States Soybean Export Council sponsored tour of US aquaculture production, with a Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee organised event at Indian Brook Farms.

A diversified, agritourism farm west of Jackson, MI, Indian Brook Farms specialises in the production of farm-raised rainbow trout. Owner Tom Richmond cites naturally occurring artesian springs on the location as a key to the operation, providing an accessible source of cool, fresh water essential to the production of trout. Soybean meal comprises a significant portion of the feed for the 50,000 trout raised annually on the farm.

Chris Weeks, aquaculture extension specialist with the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center based out of Michigan State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife was on hand to provide Chinese officials insight into what makes the region particularly well adapted to aquaculture production.

Russ Allen, owner of ECA Farms, Inc. spoke of his experiences with marine shrimp production in Michigan. “Diversification of farms in Michigan is essential,” says Mr Allen, “and local aquaculture can play a role meeting projected increases in seafood consumption.”

Dan Bailey, seed sales manager with Zeeland Farm Services, shared with the group the unique role Michigan specialty soybean production can play in the supply of high protein soymeal for fish production. Developing markets for Michigan soybeans in regional, national, and international aquaculture has been a continuing effort of the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.

The Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee represents soybean farmers in the state and funds soybean research, educational, and market development efforts through the soybean checkoff.

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