left to right: Undergraduate student Eric Chadwick, graduate student Shaker Bukhari and Prof. Wael Ahmed at the University of Guelph School of Engineering
By Matt McIntosh for AgInnovation Ontario
Guelph – A new pump that uses air to circulate water is being developed at the University of Guelph, and it could make some favorable waves in the aquaculture industry.
Known as the Airlift Pump, the device is intended to replace costly and energy-hungry circulation machinery at both inland and open-water fish farms. It’s versatile, energy efficient, and even has some unintended and rather positive side effects on water quality.
According to principal researcher Wael Ahmed, associate professor at Guelph’s School of Engineering, the Airlift Pump is an aeration system using a specially designed dual air injector, and runs using the physics of buoyancy. Continue reading
Farmers, rural residents work together to reduce phosphorous levels
By Jeanine Moyer for AgInnovation Ontario
Tobermory – A community group in the Bruce Peninsula knows poop just doesn’t run downhill, it flows downstream too.
That’s why local farmers have been working alongside the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association (BPBA) to provide new watering systems for cattle on pastures, removing the animals from drinking and walking in waterways.
With the goal to improve water quality for themselves and their neighbours downstream, the BPBA’s Six Streams Initiative focuses on addressing three sources of water pollution in their area – cattle drinking in waterways, soil erosion, and under-performing septic systems. Continue reading
Inside Ontario’s first shrimp farm – photo by Deb Deville for Country Guide.
Shrimp farming is a concept not usually associated with Ontario.
However, the province’s first shrimp farm is up and running – established by innovative farmers who converted their hog barns into shrimp-producing facilities.
There’s a great story in the most recent issue of Country Guide about Ontario’s first shrimp farmers:
Walking into Paul and Tracy Cocchio’s barn on a cold Ontario morning feels like a visit to the tropics, and rightly so, because the livestock the Cocchios are raising originate in decidedly warmer parts of the world. You might say the barn is a kind of greenhouse for the animal side of agriculture, with the couple being Ontario’s first shrimp farmers.
It’s probably also the first time any of us have read the words shrimp and farm in the same sentence.
Aptly named, Ontario’s First Shrimp Farm is the first commercial shrimp operation in the province, and it just celebrated its very first harvest in January. But it was a celebration that had been a long time coming, with the Cocchio’s now in their fifth year of pioneering a new Canadian agricultural sector.
Click here to read the rest of the story by Amy Petherick on Country Guide’s website.
Mike Meeker and his dog Rosco on the dock of his rainbow trout fish farm near Evansville on Manitoulin Island.
(Evansville) – To anyone who knew Mike Meeker as a child, there’s no surprise that he’s now a fish farmer, raising rainbow trout on a pristine lakefront property on Manitoulin Island.
“If there was water anywhere, I was in it,” Meeker says of his early years. “There was never any doubt in my mind as to what I wanted to do.”
After attending the University of Wisconsin where he studied Zoology, Meeker played hockey for a few years before settling on the west side of Manitoulin Island in 1984 with his family.
At that time, Meeker said that there weren’t any other fish farms on the island so his plans were met with a great deal of skepticism.
But, his perseverance and enthusiasm paid off and he is now one of five growers successfully raising trout in the area.
To read the rest of Mike’s story about his remarkable innovation, click here to visit the Farm & Food Care blog, “Let’s talk farm animals”.