Up Close With Fromm

Accessorizing the Smallest Pet

Carrying small animal accessories doesn’t mean just having a food dish and plastic water bottle on your shelf anymore, as manufacturers are offering a wide of variety of items, including clothing and travel products.

Marshall Pet Products sells an array of jaunty hats, including a tiny, felt beret with a chin strap, for ferrets. You say your ferret’s not feeling French today? No worries. There’s a baseball hat, a star-spangled Uncle Sam number, knit hats, fleece hats and even a jester’s hat, complete with bells.

Think ferret fashion is silly? Think again. It comes down to two words, “gift market.”

As Pet Age’s 2012-13 Retailer Survey showed, many people, who don’t even have pets,  tend to buy fun items like these for other’s people’s pets as gifts, especially around the holidays.

But, most small animal accessories are practical items that owners need to keep their animals happy and healthy. For example, water bottles and food dishes are absolute necessities.

Super Pet manufactures many small-animal accessories, including a simple Clear Water Bottle that ships with a spring cage hanger.

Food bowls come in all shapes and sizes and are usually made of plastic or ceramic. Rabbits seem to love the edible woven bowl made from timothy hay and full of dried fruit from Marshall Pet Products’ Peter’s line.

Super Pet’s Vege-T-Bowls are cute, colorful food bowls that look like carrots or lettuce.  They are made from chew-proof ceramic so they’re dishwasher safe.

Get Grooming

Don’t forget to carry grooming tools, which can help ring up sales.

Quick & Clean Instant Shampoo keeps rabbits and guinea pigs looking their best without rinsing. A few spritzes leave Thumper smelling like baby powder.

When it comes to ferrets, Marshall Pet Products offers many grooming products including Brightening Formula Shampoo, Tea Tree Shampoo and Ferret Cream Rinse.

Chinchillas need a dust bath to keep their coats soft and dry. Hagen’s Chinchilla Bath House is designed to ensure complete contact between the chinchilla and the bath. The domed top keeps the sand inside to minimize mess.

For cleaning human habitats, Marshall’s 180XT concentrated formula extracts the stain, the odor and the pheromones, which helps to prevent recurring issues.

Rabbits and ferrets can use a litter box like Super Pet’s Tall Corner Locking Litter Pan. The pan clips neatly into a corner and the high back keeps waste where it belongs.

Even hamsters can learn to use a litter box. Super Pet’s Hamster Potty is specially designed for a hamster’s bathroom habits and comes with a tiny strainer/scoop and a sample of Potty Litter.

All small animals like to hide and burrow, houses and hideaways are worthwhile accessory to carry in your store, like Pets International’s Giant Nest, a natural-grass burrow that’s completely chewable and is suggested for rabbits.

The Giant Igloo Hide-Out comes in four translucent colors so people can see their pets inside. It is also ventilated and easy to clean.

Hagen’s Living World is a complete line of wood accessories that includes hideaways, grass mats and even a wooden exercise wheel.

Move over dogs and cats, because even the tiniest of pets are hitting the road.

In a travel carrier they can go to the vet, to playdates and to show and tell in style.

– Kristen Ryan

Adding the Element of “Ahhhhh”

Pet stylists find that many customers do not hesitate to upgrade their pets grooming experience if they believe that an added service will be beneficial.

“I have had the best response to spa type products that address skin and coat issues,” Christein Sertzel, owner Finer DeTails, in Mazomanie, Wis., said.

Sertzel said she follows a gentle, soothing shampoo with a long, cool rinse to relieve and calm the skin.

“Building a rapport with your clients is so important,” she said. “When they trust that you have methods to give their pet a bit immediate relief they are often willing to try new things.”

TropiClean introduced their  popular spa line, featuring aromatherapy and botanicals that soften and condition the coat, several years ago.

“With trends these days toward people humanizing their pets, many owners want to go above and beyond for their dog or cat,” Brian Collier, creative marketing and public relations coordinator for TropiClean, said.

“Spa products specifically can be extremely beneficial to groomers who want to upgrade services by offering a more luxurious experience for the pet. I would recommend that if a groomer wanted to try out just one product that they start with our Renew shampoo.”

When it comes to choosing spa products to introduce to your customers, you can start out big by buying into a full line of products, or test the waters by trying just one luxury treatment, for example, a facial.

Donna Walker, co-owner of South Bark Dog Wash and South Bark Professional Pet Products, San Diego, Calif., said they developed the first dog and cat facial in late 2000, South Bark’s Blueberry Facial.

“This was at the very beginning of the “spa movement,” she said. “It was developed as a cool method to clean the animals face in a very attentive, loving, and unique way.

“Our take on spa products is that they are not simply luxurious and of professional quality, but are fun and interactive also,” Walker said.

From simple yet effective facials to more intensive treatments, groomers can offer a wide range of sumptuous experiences to pets.

“Espree has many great products that I love to use on grooming clients, but their Mud Bath is one of my favorites,” Ashley Pelletier, a stylist in Dallas, said.   Lisa Jordan, Espree sales and marketing representative Lisa Jordan explained how it works.

“Our Dead Sea Mineral Mud bath exfoliates and deep conditions dogs skin and coat,” she said. “It rehydrates and builds the coat.  It can be used before a bath or after, just work the product into a damp coat so that it penetrates to the skin.  Allow it to sit a few moments and then rinse out.”
She said this product sells very well, as does their popular hot oil treatment.

“Just drop our hot oil treatment into some warm water to heat it, and apply it to the coat,” Jordan said. “I use it on my full coated Havenese and her coat is shiny and in fabulous condition. Both the mud bath and hot oil treatment are excellent add-on services that can increase a groomers’ revenue.

– Daryl Conner

Freezing Your Fins Off

You’ve cared for your beautiful pond through the spring and summer, and as the leaves change, it’s time to think about preparing it for the coming winter.

Winterizing a pond helps ensure that it, and its inhabitants, ride out the winter safely and are ready to burst forth with renewed beauty in the spring.

As summer changes to fall and the pond starts to cool down it is important that water quality remain optimal. Keep the pond clean by removing dead leaves and other debris regularly.

A net can also be installed over the pond before the leaves fall to minimize the amount of leaves that end up in the water. A large water change is also beneficial. Remove and replace up to 50 percent of the water before the first freeze.

“Dosing the pond with some sludge reducer (either liquid or powder) will certainly help break down any organic material so it can easily be filtered and removed from the pond,” Jose Torres, at United Pet Group, said.

Sludge reducers contain a blend of beneficial bacteria and enzymes that dissolve organic wastes and are harmless to fish.

Filters, pumps, skimmers, and other pond equipment should be cleaned, dried, and brought inside for the winter.

“If you decide to leave your equipment outside, not running, make sure there is no water inside that could cause damage when it freezes,” Torres said.

Food Issues

As the temperatures start to cool down, it is important to change a fish’s diet.

Torres recommends switching them over to a wheat germ-based diet, such as Tetra’s Spring and Fall Diet.

“It is something we encourage based on extensive research we have done over years,” he said. “As we get closer to winter and see water temperatures starting dropping below 50 degrees, it is recommended to change to a wheat-germ-based food. The reason behind is that fish are less active and eat less often, therefore their metabolism slows and their ability to process food is also reduced.

“Why wheat germ? Because wheat germ contains vegetable protein matter, which breaks down and is digested easily. Feeding fish the improper food means partially digested food can remain in the intestine for long periods of time, causing severe health problems for the fish. Feeding should stop altogether when water temperatures get below 39 degrees.”

Goldfish and koi can thrive through the winter outside, provided the pond does not freeze solid.

When a pond is deep enough, it won’t freeze below a certain depth, but this depends somewhat on your local climate.

“It freezes to at most about 30 inches in our area,” Gene Shreib, owner of Pampered Pets in Ithaca, N.Y., said. “I tell our customers to bring in their fish about Oct. 1.”

Schreib advises using the USDA plant hardiness zone as an indicator of how cold your location will get and how early in the year a frost is likely to occur.

Other fish, unless native to the area, usually cannot be kept outside through the winter, although there are exceptions.

“I know some people who keep out rosy reds,” Schreib said. “White clouds do really well in ponds. They won’t overwinter, but they come from an area that gets pretty cold.”
White clouds might be able to overwinter in an area that doesn’t experience temperatures below 45 degrees. Clearly, it’s important to understand the needs of the particular fish living in the pond.

After the Freeze

Once the winter freeze hits, make sure to keep a hole in the surface of the ice. This will allow gas exchange between the air and the water, and therefore, the fish. Without a hole, the level of oxygen will drop and the levels of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases in the water will rise.

One way to maintain an ice-free hole is with an aerator.  Bubbles from the aerator keep the water moving, preventing ice formation directly above the device.

Another option for keeping part of a pond clear of ice is a de-icer, such as Tetra Pond De-Icer. These floating devices use heat to keep a small area around them from freezing. According to Torres, de-icers are energy efficient and inexpensive to run.

Pond plants also require some preparation for the winter. Many plants can stay in the pond, although tropical species will need to be brought indoors.

“Hornwort and anacharis will overwinter fine,” Schreib said.

Lilies will need trimming, leaving a little more than an inch above the crown, and need to be moved to the deepest part of the pond below the freezing line.

According to Torres, marginals and deep-water plants should be trimmed when they begin to die back. This prevents the leaves and other plant parts from decaying in the pond.

“Marginals should be weighted (with stones) and submerged in the pond with the deep-water plants,” he said. “Marsh or bog plants can be trimmed and insulated against the cold with straw.”

PetArmor Donates to K-9 Unit in Austin

PetArmor had a recent donation that provided bullet and stab protective vests to all K-9s in Austin, Texas’ Patrol K-9 Unit.

As part of a yearlong partnership with Vested Interest in K-9s, PetArmor is providing funding for bullet and stab protective vets for law enforcement K-9s in multiple cities across the country. In Austin, the donation is benefiting the nine K-9 teams in the patrol unit: Officer Shaun Mierl and his K-9 partner “Jake”; Officer Patrick O’Connor and his K-9 partner “Tex”; Officer Art Nelsen and his K-9 partner “Jaeger”; Officer Daniel Eveleth and his K-9 partner “Bear”; Officer Jimmie Davenport and his K-9 partner “Wiley”; Officer Randy Casler and his K-9 partner “Sumo”; Officer DJ Lahr and his K-9 partner “Blitz”; Officer Derrick Bowman and his K-9 partner “Cash”; Officer Nathan Wagner and his K-9 partner “Diesel.”

“My Patrol K-9 Unit assists patrol officers with apprehensions and searches and evidence. We also assist the SWAT Team and various other units throughout the department,” Sergeant Chris Gwaldo of the Austin Police Department, said.  “We are thrilled that – thanks to PetArmor – our entire unit will be more fully protected while on the job.”

More often than not, law enforcement agencies do not have the budgets to provide vests for K-9 officers — which cost around $1,000 each — leaving police dogs unprotected while helping to fight crime.  Vested Interest in K-9s is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing bullet and stab protective vests to police organizations nationwide.  Since 2009, the non-profit organization has provided 437 vests.

“Police K-9 units provide an invaluable service to their community and deserve the same kind of protection as their human counterparts,” Sandy Marcal, founder of Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. said.  “Thanks to PetArmor, many more police dogs will be protected from harm while they protect their neighborhoods and towns.”

The K-9 vests are custom sized to provide maximum comfort and mobility. The K-9 vests provide maximum coverage to the vital organs in addition to a rear extension panel to accommodate dogs with longer torsos.

PetArmor’s initial donation benefits dogs in Texas, Florida and Maryland where police departments have requested assistance in vesting their police dogs.

“As a leader in pet protection, PetArmor is excited to partner with Vested Interest in K-9s and protect the dogs that put their lives on the line to protect us,” Bob Scharf of Perrigo Animal Health said. “This partnership is a continuation of PetArmor’s ongoing animal welfare and charity efforts.”


Animal Supply Company and RFG Join Forces

Animal Supply Company and New Hope, Minn., based RFG Distributing, Inc., have partnered together to serve a broader cross section of independent retail communities and continue its roll-out of value-added retail services across the country.

RFG will continue to operate under the RFG Distributing name and continue to be led by Steve Thoeny, Craig Theony and the rest of the current executive team. Steve Thoeny will become an investor and part owner in Animal Supply Company.

“We are pet people,” Steve Thoeny said. “As consultants, we offer the best products to help independent pet specialty businesses prosper.”

Now serving a fourteen state territory, RFG is the leading distributor in the Midwest. While the company carries one of the broadest product selections in the industry and operates one of the most advanced warehouse and delivery systems, the Thoeny’s maintain that it is their employees that make RFG the leader in the market.

“We have been honored to partner with some of the best pet retailers and pet products manufacturers in the world but it is our family of hard working, dedicated employees that makes RFG great,” Steve Thoeny said.

Steve Thoeny described the new partnership with the Animal Supply group of companies as a great opportunity for their retail and manufacturer partners.

“The Thoeny’s and RFG’s long-term dedication to the success of the independent pet specialty market makes this a perfect partnership,” Randy Reber, chairman of Animal Supply, said. “We are honored to join together with the entire RFG family in our pursuit to deliver unmatched retail success to the independent pet channel.”

Top2Top Conference Registration Open

PIJAC, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, opened registration for the 3rd annual Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference, set in Amelia Island, Fla.

The conference provides executives in the pet industry with the opportunity to set the course for the future of the industry, gain powerful insights that will make a difference in their business immediately and create valuable relationships with other leaders.

“The Top2Top Conference is your chance to take a step back from your daily routine and immerse yourself in peer-to-peer conversations, forward-thinking sessions, and invaluable networking opportunities that will benefit your business as well as the industry as a whole,” Mike Canning, president and CEO of PIJAC, said.

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Commerce Norman Mineta will keynote the conference, sharing his vast experience on the ways business executives can ensure their views are properly represented in the government decision-making process. He will focus on what works and what does not when industries engage on public policy. Additionally, he will provide an insider’s view of the messaging lawmakers find persuasive and discuss how best to make a compelling case to achieve favorable government outcomes.  And of course, he will discuss his pets.

Additional sessions address key issues such as five-year industry forecasting, the benefits of science-based standards, and tools to change the tide on anti-pet legislation.

Set in picturesque Amelia Island, Florida, the magnificent ocean views are the perfect setting for one-on-one conversations as well as the planned networking events. You won’t want to miss the steel drum band at the Welcome Reception on the beach or the golf tournament on the Ocean Links course designed by Pete Dye and Bobby Weed. Not a golfer but still up for a little friendly competition? Join in the fun at the beach tournament where we’ll play some classic beach games like Horseshoes and Cornhole. The closing reception overlooking the golf course is the perfect location to wind down with colleagues at the end of conference.

“The Top2Top Conference sets the wheels in motion for executives to address the issues we face today and participate in solutions to strengthen the industry,”  Canning said. “Join your fellow industry leaders and take part in the future of the pet industry.”

The conference will be held on April 23-24, 2014 at the Amelia Island Plantation. To register, or for more information, visit www.pijac.org/Top2Top.

The Smallest Gesture Makes the Biggest Impact

I am not gong to lie, I love to shop and go out.

I am the type that has to look around at the newest technology, buy new CDs or movies or get something new for the pets. I interact with a lot of people that are trying to sell me products, help me out with products or answer general information.

A lot of interactions have come and gone and nothing has really stood out. Sometimes I will head to the local electronic shop or pet store and remember people, remember different things about them and maybe their name, but no one time ever really stood out to me.

Last Sunday a few of us went out to catch the games, we stopped at a local restaurant and sat at the bar. It was the first time we had ever been to the place and we figured to give it a try just to say we had been there. We stayed for the 1 p.m. games and ate some food and was about to leave. While getting up to leave the bartender, who took good care of us in general but didn’t do anything over the top, looked me in the eye, extended his hand for a handshake and said, “Thank you, I truly appreciate your business.” He proceeded to do this with each one of us and we all left and waved bye.

None of us really talked about it and I didn’t really think about it till I left and went home. I realized that it was not the first time anyone has said they appreciate my business, but it was the first time anyone said it and seemed like they truly meant it.

Now I can’t tell if they did or not, but he was convincing none the less. This little gesture has gone a long way. My same group of friends and I were planning out what to do with the upcoming football weekend. The suggestion of going to that place came up and no one disagreed with it. Now the food wasn’t amazing, it wasn’t the cheapest or nicest place ever, nothing was truly unique or memorable about that place except for that bartender. And all he did was provide good customer service and let us know he appreciated our business and was sincere about it.

Like I said, I have had other people do it, and it meant nothing to me, but when saying it making eye contact and shaking my hand, no matter what business you are in, if you truly mean it, it will leave a lasting impression and most likely you will have a returning customer.

KONG Sets Guinness World Record

The KONG Company set a world record for the most dog toys stuffed in one hour with a total of 1,975 toys during a event officially documented by Guinness officials at an August event in Riverside Park in New York City.

Volunteers from New York City area pet shelters, rescue groups and animal care organizations were joined by KONG team members to complete the attempt. These volunteers represented, Mayor’s Alliance for NY Animals, Humane Society of NY, Bideawee Animal Shelter, Animal Care & Control of New York, Puppies Behind Bars, Sean Casey Animal Rescue and Best Friends NY.

The idea for the record comes out of the proven benefits of stuffing a KONG toy, especially for dogs confined to shelters. Stuffed KONG toys can extend the joy of treat time and are mentally and physically stimulating for any dog. As the dog works to release the stuffed treats, they are moving and thinking. And once the treats are released, the KONG itself becomes a vehicle for fulfilling the instinct to chew.

Most importantly, each of the volunteers was able to take a portion of the 1,975 stuffed toys to their home shelter/rescue for the dogs.

Now that the record is official with Guinness, The KONG Company is throwing down the gauntlet. KONG challenges other groups to break this record for the benefit of pets everywhere.

For information and assistance on setting up an attempt, email KONGconnect@KONGcompany.com

TPE TV Offers Live Coverage of Total Pet Expo

Now, you can experience live, interactive coverage of Total Pet Expo from the convenience of your laptop or mobile device with the premier of TPE TV.

Hosted by Chicago Pet Video and PetPR.com, TPE TV will feature real-time coverage from the show, held Fri., Sept. 20 – Sun., Sept. 22 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago.

“We’re delighted to debut this interactive platform at Total Pet Expo that will allow businesses to connect with consumers and buyers like never before,” Andrea Fischetti, managing director of Chicago Pet Video, said. “This technology is not only cutting edge for the pet industry and traditional trade shows, but is highly sought after as the ‘next’ big thing in online marketing. We believe it will bring additional value to Total Pet Expo exhibitors and most importantly, increase sales for them.”

Pet industry professionals Kristen Levine, Shawna Schuh and Jamie Damato Migdal will be on the show floor interviewing exhibitors, attendees and industry top dogs. Live, interactive coverage runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri., Sept. 20 and Sat., Sept. 21 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 22.

“TPE TV is just one of the many innovative, new treats being served up for exhibitors and attendees of the new and improved show this year,” Kristen Levine, co-host of TPE TV and president of Fetching Communications and PetPR.com, said. “We’ve got a dream team of TV production professionals ready to broadcast real time interviews and feedback with manufacturers and key industry professionals. An added bonus is that we can feature breaking news and show promotions to buyers and distributors anywhere across the globe with our combination of live and recorded content.”

Anyone unable to attend this year will not only have the opportunity to experience product launches, show specials and breaking news in real time, but virtual visitors can also interact with TPE TV on Twitter using the hashtag #totalpetexpo to ask questions, comment or share their thoughts.

TPE TV can be accessed via Chicago Pet Video’s website at http://www.chicagopetvideo.com/totalpetexpo.html. The website will feature video of both live interviews from the show and pre-recorded content, as well as the live Twitter feed.

UPG Issues Timer Warning

United Pet Group issued a warning that the Marineland Aquarium Light Timer, model number DBJ24 and catalog number PA0401, bears unauthorized UL marks for the United States and Canada.

This timer has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate standards for safety, and it is unknown if the aquarium light timer complies with UL’s safety requirements for either country.

United Pet Group says they have received no reports of complaints related to the product, and there is no safety hazard associated with the notice.

UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology. Dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in important ways, facilitating trade and providing peace of mind.

Retailers or consumers with questions should contact United Pet Group Consumer Relations at 1-800-322-1266, or email at ConsumerSupport@UnitedPetGroup.com.



Mineta to Keynote Top2Top

Former Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta will keynote the 3rd annual Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference in Amelia Island, Fla. next year, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council said.

“Secretary Mineta will share his vast experience on what business executives can do to ensure their views are properly represented in the government decision-making process,” Mike Canning, president and CEO of PIJAC, said. “With his years of public sector involvement at every level of government, Mineta’s keynote session will greatly benefit the entire pet industry.”

Mineta’s career in public service has been both distinguished and unique. For almost 30 years, Mineta represented San Jose, Calif., first on the City Council, then as mayor and then as a member of Congress. Mineta served as the chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992 to 1994 and chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation.

In 2000, Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States secretary of commerce.  As secretary of commerce, Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, for achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues, and streamlining the patent and trademark process.

Mineta was appointed secretary of transportation by President George W. Bush, where he served until 2006.  Following the terrorist acts of Sept. 11, 2001, Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, an agency with more than 65,000 employees, the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.

His keynote session will address the need for every business executive in the pet industry to become more active in working with elected officials.  He will focus on what works and what does not when industries engage on public policy.   Additionally, he will provide an insider’s view of the messaging lawmakers find persuasive and discuss how best to make a compelling case to achieve favorable government outcomes.  And of course, he will discuss his pets.

The Pet Industry’s Top2Top Conference provides leaders in the industry with the opportunity to set the course for the future of the industry, gain powerful insights that will make a difference in your business today, and create valuable relationships with other leaders in the industry.

The conference will be held at the Amelia Island Plantation on April 23-24, 2014. Conference registration opens in mid-September.

For more information, visit www.pijac.org/Top2Top.

Continued Growth at Pet Fair Asia

Pet Fair Asia saw a 12.3 percent increase in attendance this year, and featured 602 international and domestic exhibitors.

The event, held Aug. 22-25 in Shanghai, China covered 37,000-square-meters of space and attracted a total of 15,173 professional visitors.

As officially announced by Euromonitor International during the International Pet Industry Summit, held one day before the show opening, pet care sales volumes certified in China in the past months of 2013 were $1.4 billion, an increase of 9.2 percent from 2012.

The show itself launched an original marketing campaign focused precisely on the new pet products on the market. The InnovAction Campaign  helped visitors find the newest products by using floor maps, free show guides and booth signs highlighting the participating companies.

“Exhibitors and visitors found in the show organizers strong supporters to their business and are happily satisfied with the results from their show attendance,” David Zhong, president of VNU Exhibitions Asia, said. “Smiles are certainly not a scientific way to quantify the success of a show, but to see many happy faces among professional people is a first positive indicator of attendees’ satisfaction.”

The organizers welcome the world to the next year edition of the show on Aug. 22-25, 2014 at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre.

Book Series Highlights Animal Companionship

The American Veterinary Medical Association  and the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative are collaborating with Purdue University Press to make essential health information freely available online.

Every day researchers gain new insights into the dynamic relationship between people and animals, discovering, for example, how dog ownership improves heart health or how interaction with guinea pigs may help socialize autistic children. However, up-to-date summaries of this evidence are difficult to access for the wide range of health professionals who could apply it to improve clinical practice, such as veterinarians, nurses, social workers and therapists.

This is the challenge that a new book series, “Pets and People,” will engage with, providing syntheses of the latest research and examples of best practice in the field. Topics and contributors will be selected by the AVMA’s Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions, which will also be responsible for managing the review and selection process.

“There is a thirst for knowledge about how our daily interactions with companion animals impact health, but a lot of misinformation exists,” Dr. Emily Paterson-Kane, animal welfare scientist in the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Division, said. “Authoritative research is too often hidden in learned journals spread across many different disciplines, and most people don’t have access. This new series will bring together the latest science with great examples of applications in the field and make these overviews openly accessible to all.”

The sections will be made available online through the “Pets and People” series website as they are finished. This immediate availability, free-of-charge to all readers, is made possible by the HABRI Foundation, which is subsidizing the production costs of the series as part of its commitment to stimulating innovation in the field.

“We know that the companionship of an animal is often good for us, and this book series will tell us why,” HABRI President Bob Vetere, said. “These volumes will provide an essential guide to the tens of thousands of information resources now cataloged by HABRI Central, the community’s online information hub.”

When all sections are completed, final books will be published by Purdue University Press in affordable print and e-book formats. Contributions to the first volumes will start to appear online in 2014 and will focus on cardiovascular health, healthy aging and depression and anxiety.

Dr. Alan Beck, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator on the HABRI Central project, is looking forward to the new partnership.

“The evidence that pets may improve health is strong enough to justify implementation of carefully designed and monitored pet placement programs and for basic research on the nature of the human-animal bond,” he said. “HABRI Central is a way to foster the collaboration necessary to address this diverse and growing area of study, and the expansion of the publishing component of the project through this new book series promises to substantially extend the impact of research in this area.”

Aquaculture Industry Grows In Indiana

The business of raising fish may still be relatively small in Indiana, but it is a growing part of the state’s agricultural economy, according to a Purdue Extension report.

Estimated sales from Indiana fish farms amounted to more than $15 million in 2012, an increase from $3.5 million in 2006, according to the publication Economic Importance of the Aquaculture Industry in Indiana. There are about 50 fish producers in Indiana, compared with 18,  7 years ago.

“While aquaculture is not the most well-known industry in Indiana’s agriculture sector, it is definitely present and very important to the state’s economy,” Kwamena K. Quagrainie, aquaculture marketing specialist in Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, said in the report. He conducted the study with graduate student Megan C. Broughton. “The industry has seen steady growth over the past few years, and it is important to know exactly how much economic activity is associated with aquaculture in Indiana.”

Indiana’s aquaculture industry ranges from small-scale producers raising fish in their backyards to large-scale producers growing fish to sell in national and international markets, the report says. The industry includes production of fish for human food, ornamental fish for aquariums and recreational fish that are stocked in private and public ponds and lakes.

The study measured the significance of the industry in 2012 in several ways, including the total income of $3.7 million earned by 169 people employed in aquaculture, their $101,506 in income taxes and $877,908 in sales taxes the industry generated for Indiana.

The study was funded by Purdue Extension, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Indiana Soybean Alliance and was conducted in cooperation with the Indiana Aquaculture Association.

The soybean alliance has recognized aquaculture as “the next major new market for soybeans” and has an initiative to help the industry continue its growth in Indiana, according to the report. It says that 1 percent of the U.S. soybean crop is used in aquaculture as fish feed.

Indiana soybean and corn farmers could benefit from a growing aquaculture industry, the report notes. They likely would see increased demand for soybeans and corn as well as higher prices for them.

“Even though the farmers would continue to produce their products if the aquaculture industry were not present, the advantage of having a local marketing opportunity is very important,” the report says.

The entire report is available online at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/EC/EC-770-W.pdf.


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