USDA TO PURCHASE CATFISH PRODUCTS FOR FEEDING PROGRAMS
USDA will purchase up to $6 million of breaded catfish products for distribution through federal nutrition programs. The purchase was announced Monday by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman.
"Catfish producers have faced difficult economic times in recent years and this purchase will provide some assistance for producers," said Veneman. "This purchase will provide schoolchildren and needy families with a nutritious product."
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service soon will begin purchasing breaded catfish strips and breaded catfish nuggets from approved suppliers. The frozen breaded catfish products must be from U.S. produced catfish and must be processed in the United States.
Jimmy Carlisle, director of the Alabama Catfish Producers, said children who participate in the National School Lunch Program would be primary beneficiaries of the product. At the same time, Alabama's catfish industry, it's thousands of workers and their families will benefit from a more stabilized market.
The Alabama Catfish Producers is a division of the Alabama Farmers Federation, the state's largest farm organization that represents all major commodities in the state.