Each winter, the North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference draws more than 200 fish farmers, scientists and industry newcomers from across the Southeast to discuss research and current marketing trends for farm-raised fish and seafood. The 2014 gathering will be held in New Bern, Feb. 20-22, 2014.
The conference theme, Navigating Currents of Change, focuses attention on how aquaculture fits into emerging consumer markets. The keynote speaker will be Debbie Hamrick, director of specialty crops for the NC Farm Bureau Federation. Hamrick has tracked macro-trends affecting consumer spending and agriculture, including urbanization and the role of millennials as economic drivers. Her address will cover topics such as how to position farm-raised fish into a market dominated by urban consumers, and how to use metrics to determine future demand.