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Assessing the Effectiveness of NCRAC Funded Research in Aquaculture within the North Central Region



NCRAC has funded numerous projects that have supported Extension services in the region and addressed a wide range of topics including fish health, aquaponics, economics, pond management and more. NCRAC funded Extension projects have included workshops and training programs, publications, manuals, and fact sheets. Similarly, NCRAC funded research projects have produced a variety of outputs including reports, publications, presentations, and more. We propose to conduct a thorough review of all completed NCRAC funded research and Extension projects from 1994 to 2019, to identify the outcomes, impacts and deliverables generated by each project for producers within the region. This will begin with a focused analysis of project proposals and final reports to identify the specific anticipated outcomes and impacts, the achieved outcomes and impacts, and the deliverables of each completed project. That information will be summarized and used to develop a survey which will be distributed to all NCRAC producers; in order to assess which of these project outputs, impacts, and deliverables were of benefit and to which segment of the industry. Producer responses will be evaluated to identify which projects had successful approaches to promote solutions and develop synergies that resulted in benefits to industry. The findings of these activities will be summarized in a report detailing (1) the expected outcomes, impacts, and deliverables of each NCRAC funded research and Extension project between 1994 and 2019, (2) the reported outcomes, impacts, and deliverables from each NCRAC funded project between 1994 and 2019, and (3) those projects that produced outcomes, impacts, and deliverables that were of benefit to industry. In addition to this report, a fact sheet and an infographic that summarize key findings will be developed. The research and extension team assembled have previous experience with impact assessment and program evaluation and have extensive experience with the aquaculture industry in the NCRAC region.  


1.    Review of effectiveness of NCRAC-funded projects.
a.    Conduct a comprehensive literature and document review of all NCRAC-funded projects since 1994.
b.    Identify anticipated project outcomes, impacts, and benefits from proposals.
c.    Identify reported outputs and outcomes from final reports and compare with that proposed.
2.    Identify outcomes generated on aquaculture farms in the region; summarize and describe lessons learned
a.    Web-based (Qualtrics) survey of all NCRAC aquaculture producers to identify which project outputs, outcomes, and impacts were of benefit to them.
3.    Evaluate the effectiveness of project approaches to promote solutions for aquaculture source problems; provide examples where the NCRAC funding mechanisms have worked synergistically or where they have failed to develop synergies.
4.    Deliver results of the synthesis to NCRAC, the science community, and relevant stakeholder groups.

Duration: 1 year (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021)


  • Jonathan van Senten - Virginia Tech
  • Carole Engle - Virginia Tech
  • Robert Rode - Purdue University
  • Kwamena Quagrainie - Purdue University
  • Matthew Smith - The Ohio State University
  • Jeni Blackburn - Fresh Harvest Farm Aquaponics

Project Outline


Termination Report

Award Amount


Award Number