The 2010 Catfish Farmers of America Annual Convention was held February 28-March 2 at the Mills House Hotel in downtown Charleston. More than 100 catfish farmers from across the Southeast met to discuss the current state of the industry and create solutions for various challenges.
Since 1968, The Catfish Farmers of America (CFA) Organization has represented the farmers, processors, feed mills, researchers and suppliers of the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry.
“A great highlight of the CFA Annual Awards luncheon is recognizing distinguished farmers who have made valuable contributions to the catfish industry,” said Roger Barlow, executive vice president of Catfish Farmers of America and president of The Catfish Institute (TCI). “Each year, a deserving producer is named as Catfish Farmer of the Year from the three state associations. This honor gives outstanding catfish farmers national recognition for their contributions to our industry.”
Will Pearce named 2010 Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year. Will Pearce, together with his brother, David Jr., farm 1400 water acres in Selma, Ala. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Agricultural Economics, and immediately returned to the family farm.
Will and his wife, Beth, are the parents of Anne Frances and Libby, and are active members of Church Street United Methodist Church in Selma.
Joey Lowery named 2010 Arkansas Catfish Farmer of the Year. Joey Lowery, of Searcy, Ark., has spent the past 24 years farming 460 water acres in Jackson County, Ark. Joey serves as president of Catfish Farmers of America and is the former president of Catfish Farmers of Arkansas. He also currently serves on the Arkansas Catfish Research and Promotion Board.
Joey graduated with a degree in Business Management from Harding University. He and his wife, Cara, have three children, Loghan, Austin and Anna Grace.
Ed Pentecost named 2010 Mississippi Catfish Farmer of the Year. Ed Pentecost of Cleveland, Miss., began farming catfish in 1980 and now owns and operates 825 water acres with his brother, Ben. He attended Mississippi State University and graduated from Delta State University, where he earned a Business Management degree.
Ed is one of the founding members of Fishbelt Feeds and currently serves as the secretary/treasurer. He and his wife, Gail, have two children, Ashley and Eric, and attend First United Methodist Church of Cleveland.
In addition to their CFA award, The Catfish Institute will feature the three farmers in a national print advertising campaign beginning late summer 2010.