At Harvest Select, we believe your catfish shouldn’t have more stamps on its passport than you do. That’s why we grow our Channel catfish right here in the good old U.S. of A.
We know that there is an increasing need for safe, secure supplies of healthy seafood. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends healthier eating habits which includes the protein found in seafood. Amazingly 91% of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. But the U.S. aquaculture community provides a consistent, healthy and protein-rich resource that nourishes its people.
So why scour farms across Alabama for fresh, seasonal ingredients and then use seafood from overseas? Not when we have some of the world’s best, right in our own backyard. At Harvest Select, we manage over 4,600 acres of catfish farms, operated by local farmers who’ve been working on our fresh, aerated, natural clay-bottomed ponds for years.
We utilize a harvesting process, known as “seining”. Fish is immediately taken to our plant after harvest, ensuring peak freshness. We will only harvest and process catfish that have reached the strict standards we have established at Harvest Select for optimum size, texture, and flavor. So you taste what we taste: the juiciest, most mouth-watering catfish you ever put on a plate.
Where did we get our start? In 1991, five west Alabama farmers set out to create a company that raises and distributes the finest quality U.S. farm-raised catfish on the market, in a cost efficient, environmentally responsible manner. The idea was simple: the more care we put into our fish, the more taste you get out of it.
This commitment to healthier, sustainable farm-to-fork practices helped us become one of the nation’s primary farmer’s, harvesters, processors and distributors of American catfish. By 2008, we had earned first U.S. catfish processor to be Best Aquaculture Certified (BAP) by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.
Today, we have over 370 dedicated, trained personnel in and around Uniontown, Alabama producing over 750,000 pounds of catfish weekly. This hands-on approach allows us to get the fish out of the pond and restaurant ready in less than 50 minutes. And you can taste the difference, whether you’re pulling crisp crusted fillets from the fryer, serving it in a slow-simmered stew or enjoying it broiled with just a squeeze of lemon.
Who You Calling a Bottom-Feeder?
Unlike their wild bottom-feeding relatives, our farm-raised catfish feed on a scientifically formulated diet of high-protein food pellets, consisting of soybeans, corn, wheat, vitamins, and minerals that float on top of the pond. This special feed creates a healthier fish with a cleaner, milder taste that adapts to a variety of delicious menu ideas, sauces, and cooking methods.
Oh, and those ponds are pretty special, too. They’re made of hard-packed clay soil, then filled with pure fresh water pumped from clear, underground reservoirs. Rectangular-shaped ponds, averaging 10 to 12 acres each are built above ground by constructing levees to contain the water, which in most ponds averages about 4 to 6 feet deep. In simple terms, our fish are raised in the purest of environments.
As important as aquaculture is to the United States, we are proud to play a part and will continue to grow this valuable aquacultural commodity. Now who’s up for a fish fry?