California Seaweed Festival

4th Annual California Seaweed Festival will be held at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier in San Diego, CA from November 3 – 4, 2023.

The California Seaweed Festival arose from decades of studying seaweeds and and learning myriad ways that seaweeds make life better. The festival will showcase uses of seaweed from farming, sustainable technology to art. There will also be hands-on activities at this family friendly event.

If you are interested in presenting, displaying and/or volunteering at the event click: Seaweed Festival.

Aquaponics Conference Registration Open

Courtesy of NAA

The Aquaponics Association is thrilled to announce that the 12th Annual Aquaponics Conference is being hosted in collaboration with the Santa Fe Community College this year in Albuquerque, NM from September 15 – 17th!

We are anticipating our largest conference to date with 250+ attendees and 20+ vendors! We are readily accepting presentation abstracts, sponsorships/vendors, silent auction items, as well as ticket purchases. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested or currently involved in aquaponics/aquaculture to attend, network, and support the growing aquaponics industry.

If you are interested, do not hesitate to reach out to with any questions, comments or concerns! 
~ Joshua Dusci, Executive Director of The Aquaponics Association

News Release – U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to California businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced.

The declaration covers Merced, Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties as a result of severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that began Dec. 27, 2022.

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USDA Offers Disaster Assistance to Farmers and Livestock Producers in California Impacted by Floods

Office of Public Affairs

Flooded Strawberry field

From the USDA

California agricultural operations have been significantly impacted by the recent floods throughout the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers recover. Impacted producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure and livestock losses and damages.

“Production agriculture is vital to the California economy, and USDA stands ready to assist in the recovery from these catastrophic flood events,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), who met with disaster-impacted producers last week in Fresno, Yuba, Salinas Valley and other areas.  “I assure you that USDA employees are working diligently to deliver our extensive portfolio of disaster assistance programs and services to all impacted agricultural producers. We’re also proud of recent updates FSA made to disaster assistance programs that allow us to improve our response to California producers.”

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SBA Positioned to Assist California Businesses and Residents Affected by the Statewide Winter Storm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to California businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced.

The declaration covers Merced, Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties as a result of severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that began Dec. 27, 2022.

“With President Biden’s declaration, SBA is working closely with FEMA and our state and local officials on the ground to deliver expedient disaster recovery loans and support that will aid Californians impacted by these severe and devastating winter storms, flooding and mudslides,” said Administrator Guzman. “My heartfelt condolences go out to the families who have lost loved ones, and I urge affected residents to stay safe and heed the guidance of local emergency officials. As the state faces continued rainfall and heightened risks of flooding and mudslides, the SBA is committed to providing the full breadth of our resources to help small businesses and communities recover and rebuild stronger than before.”

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 2.313 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

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Winter Storm Reminders, Resources, and Reporting

Reporting Storm Related Damage Growers that have sustained damages due to these recent storms, need to report damages to the Sacramento County Agriculture Commissioner’s office with the Report of Loss Form.

Form can be found online at
Completed Report of Loss Forms may be hand delivered or mailed to either office below, or emailed to
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APHIS Hosting OSHV-1 Webinar

APHIS Hosting OSHV-1 Webinar   At the request of U.S. aquaculture, the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), is pleased to offer an informational webinar on ostreid herpesvirus-1 (causative agent of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome [POMS]). This TEAMS webinar offering is open to everyone with an interest in shellfish health.  
Date/Time: Monday, December 12, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST/1 p.m. MT/12:00 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT. 
Presenter: Dr. Collen Burge, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
To Join at the day and time of the webinar:
By computer, mobile app or room device:
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 258 740 504 30
Passcode: 5rTxiy
Download Teams | Join on the web
Or call in (audio only)
+1 202-650-0123,,589769757#   United States, Washington DC
Phone Conference ID: 589 769 757#
Find a local number | Reset PIN
Learn More | Meeting options
For more information on OSHV-1, APHIS offers these resources:

Frequently Asked Questions: Infection by ostreid herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1) microvariants, sometimes referred to as Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS)

Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 Information Sheet

Potential Introduction Pathways of Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1) in the United States 

Optimizing surveillance for early disease detection: Expert guidance for Ostreid herpesvirus surveillance design and system sensitivity calculation, Gustafson et al. 2021

If you have questions, please contact Kathleen H. Hartman, Senior Staff Veterinarian – Aquaculture Health, USDA APHIS, Veterinary Services,

USDA Provides Payments of nearly $800 Million in Assistance to Help Keep Farmers Farming

Courtesy of NAA:

Immediate Help for Over 13,000 Distressed USDA Farm Loan Borrowers; Begins process to provide up to $500 million more for up to 23,000 additional borrowers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that distressed borrowers with qualifying USDA farm loans have already received nearly $800 million in assistance, as part of the $3.1 billion in assistance for distressed farm loan borrowers provided through Section 22006 of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The IRA directed USDA to expedite assistance to distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) whose operations face financial risk.

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National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – Small Business Programs

USDA NIFA has now released the FY23 SBIR/STTR Phase 1 RFA.

The SBIR program supports US-based small businesses solving issues (with commercial potential) related to food and agriculture. This program has and continues to support an Aquaculture priority area (SBIR 8.7).

Here are the links to information and to the application package on

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Phase I | National Institute of Food and Agriculture (

View Opportunity | GRANTS.GOV

Please share the RFA links with any interested parties and let any and all know that if they are interested in applying they can email me at and I will provide them with all requisite information.

Thanks in advance for your help in growing the USDA NIFA SBIR 8.7 program area priority!


Tim Sullivan, National Program Leader, Animal Health and Aquaculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture