Townsend Kyser with a catfish.
Townsend Kyser with a catfish. - 
Listen To The Story

It's not often you get to talk about catfish noodling on a business program (sticking your hand down in the holes they swim in and hoping they bite) but talk about it we did the last time we had Townsend Kyser on the show. He's a catfish farmer in Greensboro, Alabama who was suffering in the midwest drought last summer.

Kyser says they're doing a lot better since we spoke to him in August. It's rained, and the assistance from the USDA helped stabilize prices. The cost of grain to feed the catfish is still higher than normal.

"Agriculture is a very tightly knit group across the country and when things happen in this area, they affect the whole nation."

He's still thinking about the problems created by the drought, like those higher feed prices. But Kyser is also thinking about the fiscal cliff -- he says farmers like him are paying close attention to the taxes they have to pay.

One bright spot is that Kyser's been able to keep his 18 employees working for the company. He's also hoping to hire a few more next year.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal