A Fredericton-based feed mill is providing an initial $1,000 for a new online training tool being developed for the aquaculture training program at the St. Andrews campus of the New Brunswick Community College.
Corey Feed Mills in Fredericton manufactures pet and fish food and company president Lee Corey said he's happy to support a program that allows students to learn the operational management of a fish farm facility without leaving the classroom.
The online fish feeding simulation program will be available in the spring.
The program allows students to feed virtual fish according to Corey aqua feed charts.
Students can adjust feeding schedules to optimize the growth of the fish. Overfeeding or underfeeding will effect the growth rates, health and profitability of the virtual reality fish farm.
As the fish grow, periodic calculations will tell students how their fish are performing in relation to their health status and environmental conditions.
"Aquaculture is a major industry in southwestern New Brunswick and this simulation is designed to train students in optimizing the quality and value of farmed salmon," said simulation concept developer Nelson Alward.
Alward is department head of trades, technology and marine at the St. Andrews campus and he designed the $40,000 program.
Corey said it's unique that his firm's feed formulas will be used to run the simulation program.
The company may plunk additional funds in the program as part of an ongoing plan to invest in innovative programs that will support the pet and fish food industry.
"Perhaps we could develop some virtual pet simulations for our Corey pet food products," he said.
Corey Feed Mills produces food for domestic and global markets.