Southeast Asian Aquaculture Team Experiences U.S. Aqua Industry Following Export Exchange

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) welcomed a group of aquaculture industry representatives from across the Southeast Asia region to the U.S. this month, taking part in Export Exchange and a post-tour in Minnesota and Idaho.

While in the states, the group was interested in gaining an enhanced understanding of the economic and nutritional value of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and high protein DDGS. After meeting with suppliers and potential new trade partners at Export Exchange, the group headed to Idaho to see U.S. aquaculture in action.

Follow along on their journey through the photo essay below:

Before traveling to Idaho where most of the tour took place, the group visited with Western Hemisphere Advisory-Team Leader Jim O’Connor on his farm in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. O’Connor provided an overview of his family’s farming operation and took the team to a field being harvested. Group members took turns riding in the combine and examining O’Connor’s harvested crop.

Upon arriving in Twin Falls, Idaho, the group met with Thomas Welker (left), research physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service (USDA’s ARS) and Ron Hardy (right), retired professor at the University of Idaho. Welker and Hardy discussed the history of aquaculture in the U.S. more broadly before providing an overview of current projects taking place in the ARS facilities, including how DDGS can play a role in aqua feed.

As a follow up to the presentations the day before, the team visited the ARS and University of Idaho fish culture experiment station in Hagerman, ID. Welker and Wendy Sealy, ARS research physiologist, led the group through the labs and facilitated discussion comparing and contrasting techniques in aquaculture feed development and nutrition between Southeast Asia and the United States.

The group also had the opportunity to visit two fish farm operations, Blind Canyon Aqua Plant (left) and Riverence, the largest trout producer in North America. By visiting these two sites, the team was able to see the differences in small-scale and large-scale operations. They also learned more about the producers’ nutrition and fish health considerations when choosing feed.

To conclude the group’s time in the U.S., the team members stopped by Emerge by Scoular where they met with JC Olson, Mike Cici and Laura Wilder. Emerge has been working with the Idaho Barley Commission to create a new aquaculture feed option: barley protein concentrate. The team at Emerge took the time to hear from the Southeast Asian representatives on what is important to them in their feed and how this new product could help them and their operations moving forward.


Follow along as the Council highlights more post-teams in upcoming editions of Global Update.