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The end of the year is nigh, and we are looking forward to the USAS Annual Meeting in San Antonio Texas on February 19-22, 2017. At present we have over 400 abstracts submitted and there will be more coming. The planning committee is still working hard to make this a great meeting.
Over the past few years, the Board of USAS has been trying to decide what kind of association the US Chapter should be. What should the Board see as the priorities for moving forward? By and large, the majority of the members are people in academia, research, extension, agencies and students. Knowledge and information changes at an astounding pace and we need to remain current, and sometimes to brush up on things that we learned years ago but still remain very important. We need to have the knowledge to help industry move forward, and that knowledge isn’t always related to the fish, shellfish or plants that the industry grows. We often forget that aquaculture is a business and if it’s not done as a business it becomes a money losing hobby. So sometimes we need to look at the physical problems of growing the crop, and sometimes we need to look at the business itself and solve the problems that it brings. To address these needs, there will be two fantastic workshops done during the weekend just before the annual meeting.
On Saturday February 18th, there will be the LEAN Aquaculture Workshop. Run by LEAN Founder and Expert Terri Lawrence, the Workshop will explore the tools to improve business efficiency. It will help growers identify business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, understand challenges and solutions. Working together participants will practice problem solving, do brainstorming for low cost solutions, develop value chain maps, and create individualized action plans. This LEAN process is a customer-centric methodology to improve the aquaculture business by getting rid of waste and striving for continued improvement. This is a Japanese approach to management that focuses on cutting waste while ensuring quality. Folks who have taken the LEAN workshop have had nothing but great things to say about it. It will improve your business or give you the right guidelines to help the industry people that you may work with. more