catfish The Catfish Institute (TCI) was founded in 1986 by catfish feed mills and their producer members with the goal of raising consumer awareness about the benefits of U.S. farm-raised catfish. catfish recipe The organization’s reach extends across the U.S., and it has launched a variety of successful promotional programs and marketing campaigns since it was established. For several years, TCI has promoted the idea of buying locally produced food, making the organization at the forefront of the popular ‘buy local’ initiative that continues to sweep the nation. “TCI’s creative consumer advertising and public relations programs have increased awareness and demand for farm-raised catfish nationwide,” says Roger Barlow, TCI president. “And today, U.S. Farm- Raised Catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the U.S.” TCI reaches the public through ongoing promotions targeting all forms of media including television commercials and shows; radio programs and ads; and print materials, such as cookbooks, brochures and magazines. The organization also works in partnership with processors and food service industry professionals to develop marketing campaigns that feature U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Additionally, TCI promotes the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry on social media via Facebook and Twitter, and it has a mobile application that enables consumers to quickly access information and recipes. TCI’s Farmers of the Year also help the organization market and advance the industry. Each year, one farmer is chosen from each of the top three catfish- producing states by their state organizations, and according to Barlow, those who are selected “embody the spirit of the American farmer” and contribute to promotional efforts during their terms. “Each Farmer of the Year 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,” Barlow says. “TCI utilizes the Farmers of the Year throughout their tenure in various advertising campaigns. They also serve as ambassadors of the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry at Seafood Expo North America, the largest seafood trade show in North America, held annually in Boston.”

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