IISG aquaculture marketing specialist Kwamena Quagrainie has been awarded the Distinguished Early Career Award by the U.S. Aquaculture Society (USAS). USAS recognizes individuals involved in aquaculture for less than 10 years exemplifying “outstanding leadership or innovation in research, education, extension, or industry development in the field of aquaculture.”

“Kwamena enthusiasm has sparked organizations, institutions, and agencies to work together with producers to expand aquaculture markets and opportunities necessary to grow the industry in our two states,” said IISG director Brian Miller.

Through funding from IISG, Illinois Extension, and Purdue University, Quagrainie has conducted aquaculture marketing workshops for producers, developed enterprise budgets, and oversaw extension publications designed to help producers market their products. He has also conducted applied research resulting in 21 refereed journal articles and co-authored the Aquaculture Marketing Handbook.

Since joining Purdue in 2005, Quagrainie has used his enthusiasm and leadership to energize the extension field staff. “During my years of working with extension educators as a state specialist and as a Sea Grant extension program leader, it has been rare to see a group of educators respond to a specialist the way they have responded to Kwamena,” said Miller.

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