In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the month of August to be recognized as National Catfish Month. The month is dedicated to recognizing the agricultural importance of catfish in the economy and highlighting what catfish can provide to the consumer as a safe, delicious, domestic protein source.
Top Facts About U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish
Often misconceived as bottom-feeders, U.S. farm-raised catfish has a mild and sweet flavor that comes from the high-protein, grain-based floating feed eaten by the fish in their ponds. The feed ingredients are grown by American farmers. The signature flavor of U.S. farm-raised catfish can be easily and affordably prepared with a multitude of side dishes and is a sustainable, healthy option for families.
Did You Know?
- Catfish is the 5th most popular fish in America
- U. S. farm-raised catfish is a great source of protein, healthy fat and is low in mercury, making it safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women to enjoy
- One catfish can lay up to 4,000 eggs a year per pound of body weight
Catfish Farming and Processing
When the catfish reach market size, they are harvested and delivered to processing plants, many of which are located in rural areas where they are major sources of employment and the primary driver for the area’s economy.
The Southern staple remains a major economic supporter of the south and is the leading U.S. aquaculture segment. 94% of all U.S. farm-raised catfish comes from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In 2020, Mississippi catfish farmers produced more than $226 million in production value. U.S. farm-raised catfish continues to thrive in the economy and in the kitchen.
Cooking U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish
Long-regarded as a Southern favorite, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is being embraced outside of the South thanks to its health benefits, product quality and sustainability – it is American-grown and widely available in retailers and restaurants across the country.
Typically fried and paired with hushpuppies, U.S. farm-raised catfish is actually quite versatile when it comes to recipes. Baked, grilled, blackened, as an appetizer or an entrée, catfish can be enjoyed in many delicious ways. Looking to celebrate Catfish Month? Check out our delicious recipes! For tips on how to shop for U.S. farm-raised catfish, follow our guide.