CATFISH PRODUCERS GIVE CHECKOFF UNANIMOUS SUPPORT
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama catfish producers voted unanimously to continue their voluntary checkoff program for five more years at the current rate of 50 cents per ton of feed manufactured, bought and sold in Alabama.
The voting was held March 8, and while the voter turnout was low, there were zero "no" votes. That indicates producers have confidence in the program, according to Alabama Catfish Producers Chairman Butch Wilson of Dallas County.
"I believe the vote shows that producers are pleased with what their checkoff dollars are doing, and they can see results of their investment, namely in the areas of research, the establishment of best management practices, water quality studies, hybrid catfish development and an economic analysis study," Wilson said.
Catfish production is a $300 million industry in Alabama which ranks second only to Mississippi in cash receipts. Alabama's production has increased dramatically in the last decade. Alabama catfish growers purchased 230,000 tons of feed in 2003, compared to 46,000 tons in 1989.
A 12-member board of producers from throughout the state administers the checkoff funds, which can be used for education, promotion and research.