North Carolina Aquaculture Development Conference
















Meet our Speakers


Scott SquiresK. Scott Squires

Dr. Scott Squires is currently a Field Veterinarian and Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician with USDA APHIS Veterinary Services in Eastern North Carolina. He also serves as the Aquaculture Liaison for USDA APHIS Veterinary Services in North Carolina and West Virginia. He earned a B.S. in agriculture from Arkansas State University and a DVM from Tuskegee University. He practiced veterinary medicine in a mixed animal practice in Central Arkansas and he owned and operated a beef cow/ calf and stocker operation in Northern Arkansas. After leaving private practice, he joined the USDA. In the 20+ years of working with federal regulatory agencies, he has been involved in all aspects of animal agriculture including animal movement, disease surveillance, traceability, food safety and bio-security. For the last 7 years, he has been with USDA APIHS Veterinary Services (VS). He spent 3 years in Kentucky working as the Import / Export Veterinarian prior to coming to North Carolina in 2011. While in Kentucky, he was involved with all aspects of international movement of livestock including several international export audits from countries like the European Union and Australia. Since coming to North Carolina, he has worked closely with the Aquaculture industry on a variety of issues including import/ export of aquatic species, aquatic animal health programs and public health issues associated with zoonotic diseases.

Mike FreezeMike Freeze

Mike Freeze is co-owner of Keo Fish Farm, Inc., the largest hybrid striped bass hatchery in the world and one of the largest triploid grass carp producers in the United States. He is currently the President of the National Aquaculture Association, a member of the Board of Directors of Arkansas Farm Bureau, Chairman of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Aquaculture Commodity Division, a member of the Arkansas FSA State Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Catfish Farmers of Arkansas. Previously, he served as a member and Chairman of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission and on numerous USDA National Advisory Boards. Mr. Freeze has over thirty years of experience as a private aquaculture producer and is an American Fisheries Society' Certified Fisheries Scientist. He received his B.S. from Arkansas Tech University and his M.S. from Murray State University. Mr. Freeze's family was named Lonoke County Farm Family of the year in 2004 and he has received numerous individual aquaculture related awards as well as having a state wildlife management area and a community fishing pond named after him.

Ryan SpeckmanRyan Speckman and Lin Peterson

Long time friends, Ryan Speckman and Lin Peterson started Locals Seafood in 2010 with a cooler full of Stumpy Point shrimp and a pick-up truck. Both Fisheries and Wildlife Science majors from NC State University, their love for the coast, the outdoors, and good seafood started early. The foundation of our business is to supply inland chefs with a fresh, local catch as fast as possible. Three key factors distinguish us from our local competitors: traceability, turnaround time, and in-house operations. We value the people and places behind the items we sell. Our staff drives to the coast 2-3 times each week to hand select the best catch from fishermen and fish houses on the coast. Personal relationships with our sources result in a better product for our customers. Our business model depends on a variety of sales outlets, both retail and wholesale. As a result, we are able to move our product from the coast to the customer quickly, typically within 2 days after the product is caught or harvested. We buy whole fish and have a full time cutting staff who process our seafood in our 3000 sq ft HACCP processing facility in Raleigh.

Peter FerketPeter Ferket

Dr. Peter R. Ferket is a William Neal Reynold's Distinguished Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. He is a professor of Nutrition and Biotechnology in the Department of Poultry Science, conducting research and education programs related to the formulation and manufacture of quality feeds, and enhancing growth performance and welfare of poultry. Dr. Ferket is a frequent speaker at animal and poultry conferences and has authored over 500 publications and 6 patents.


Bill WaltonBill Walton

Dr. Bill Walton is an Associate Professor in Auburn University's School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences and a marine fisheries & aquaculture Extension Specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. In this position, Bill works with shellfish farmers, commercial fishermen and natural resource managers. In his research, he emphasizes the use of controlled field experiments to solve applied problems and to answer questions posed by the public. In particular, his research focuses on issues related to marine invertebrate aquaculture, fisheries management and restoration. Within the Gulf of Mexico, species of interest include the eastern oyster, blue crabs and shrimp, which form the basis for important commercial and recreational fisheries. Since 2009, he has worked with collaborators to develop off-bottom oyster farming throughout the southern US (

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