MS Senators, colleagues recognize National Catfish Month

Published 1:06 pm Monday, August 16, 2021

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), U.S. Senator Rafael Warnock (R-Ga.), and other Senate colleagues today praised Senate passage of their resolution to designate August 2021 as National Catfish Month.

The resolution recognizes the importance of catfish farmers and workers, and commends the contributions of the farm-raised catfish industry to the economy.  The resolution (S.Res.353) was introduced by Wicker, Hyde-Smith, Warnock, Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

“Catfish is a source of pride for Mississippi and a big part of our state’s economy,” Wicker said.  “Farm-raised catfish is wholesome, delicious, and already accounts for more than 50 percent of the United States’ aquaculture industry.  Designating the month of August as National Catfish Month recognizes the impact of catfish producers and helps to share this pride with the rest of the nation.”

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“Farm-raised Catfish production is a standout industry for Mississippi – consistently ranking first in the nation – as it stokes our state’s economy and helps to feed our entire nation,” Hyde-Smith said. “Mississippians take pride in the quality of our farm-raised catfish, and designating August as ‘National Catfish Month’ is a way to recognize and commend our farmers, processors and workers for the major role they play in our national aquaculture industry.”

Mississippi leads the nation in catfish production.  With more than 200 catfish operations, Mississippi catfish farmers produced more than $226 million in production value on more 35,100 acres in 2020, according to the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine.

Read the resolution here or below:

Whereas the Catfish Institute recognizes August to be National Catfish Month;

Whereas the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas recognize August to be National Catfish Month;

Whereas the States of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Tennessee embody the Channel Catfish as their State Fish;

Whereas the farm-raised catfish industry in the United States employs nearly 10,000 people and contributes more than $4,000,000,000 to the economy of the United States;

Whereas the United States has 89,400 surface water acres used for catfish production in 2021, and catfish growers in the United States had $371,000,000 in sales during 2020;

Whereas the average catfish farmer produces 5,000 pounds of catfish per acre;

Whereas 99 percent of all United States farm-raised catfish are grown in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas;

Whereas catfish is the largest farm-raised seafood product, by weight, in the United States, representing more than 50 percent of the United States aquaculture industry;

Whereas United States farm-raised catfish are consistently high quality and, unlike ocean-caught fish, are available all-year long;

Whereas United States farm-raised catfish are a sustainable and environmentally friendly seafood product;

Whereas catfish is a lean fish and an excellent source of protein; and

Whereas catfish is a versatile fish in cuisine of the United States, with a myriad of regional and national recipes to be enjoyed by all people of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

   (1) designates August 2021 as ‘‘National Catfish Month’’

   (2) recognizes the contributions of all workers, past and present, that produce, process, and provide catfish for the people of the United States; and

   (3) recognizes that purchasing United States farm-raised catfish supports farmers, jobs, and the economy of the United States.