Farmers of the Year are chosen annually from a large field of many deserving catfish producers in the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry. Although it is a difficult task to select just one farmer from each of the top three catfish-producing states, those who are selected embody the spirit of the American farmer. All have made significant contributions to the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry.

Every year, The Catfish Institute (TCI) utilizes these individuals in various advertising campaigns. Each farmer is an important part of promoting U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish and raising public awareness of the quality and benefits of eating U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Roger Barlow, president of TCI, said, “We want to provide a connection between the farm-raised catfish that people know and love and the hundreds of family farms that dot the Southern United States where these fish are grown. The Catfish Farmers of the Year are the face of the American farmer producing an American product for the American consumer.”