The families of Heartland Catfish are not new to the aquaculture industry. They have catfish farming techniques and processing proficiencies in their blood. From the life-cycle of the fish to its celebratory month held each August, Heartland Catfish knows their product. Here are five facts they want you to know:
More than 25 Years in Business
Heartland Catfish celebrated 25 successful years of catfish farming and processing in 2021. So, what has Heartland accomplished in its thriving years of business? It became the United States’ largest catfish farming and processing company. The family-owned company began processing the beloved fish in 1996, and within their first year, they produced 12 million pounds of live catfish. Now, thanks to advances in technology and aquaculture farming practices, Heartland produces more than 55 million pounds of live catfish per year.
Located in The Heart of the Mississippi Delta
Heartland Catfish is located in Itta Bena, Mississippi. In fact, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas supply 93% of all U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Heartland Catfish are fed a high-protein floating feed which gives the fish a cleaner milder flavor.
Before Heartland Catfish became the largest catfish farming and processing company, there was Tackett Fish Farms. In fact, Tackett Fish Farms supplies 50% of the catfish produced at Heartland Catfish Company. Heartland Catfish understands the importance of family ties. The slogan, “Founded on family, focused on flavor, for generations to come,” delivers an honest message about the company values.
Catfish Eggs Hatch after Seven Days
The trick to a quick turnaround rate that allows for large-scale catfish production is in the science of the fish life cycle. Brood Fish produce 3,000 to 4,000 eggs per pound of body weight per year. Catfish eggs hatch seven days after fertilization, and the sac fry emerges. They are called sac fry because an attached yolk supplies their nourishment. When the sac fry grows into fingerlings they are taken out into a pond for 18-24 months where they grow up to 2.5 pounds. At this point, they are ready to be harvested.
Heartland Catfish has One of the Largest Freezing Capacity’s in the Industry
Every hour, Heartland Catfish Company is able to freeze 25 thousand pounds of catfish fillets; In fact, it takes less than 30 minutes from live catfish to packaged product. In the space of a single episode of your favorite sitcom, Heartland’s Catfish undergo four distinct phases, live catfish, cleaning, processing and packaging, to become retail ready. All products including whole fish, steaks, fillets, strips and nuggets are sold both fresh and frozen.
Catfish is the Only Fish that has a Celebratory Month Declared by Congress
In the late 1980s, congress declared August as National Catfish month. This year Heartland Catfish Company spent the whole month honoring catfish with a cooking contest. There is always a reason to celebrate catfish.
Heartland Catfish works hard to ensure the catfish goes through appropriate farming and processing measures before it reaches the dinner table. Over the past 25 years, they have established a brand that you can count on to be reliable. Check out our fact sheet for a detailed look at all things Heartland Catfish.