- 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

American catfish farmers are hoping to get a little more of their product on your dinner plate. And they’re a little peeved with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Five year ago, the USDA got $15 million to set up a new catfish inspection office that would come up with standards to set American catfish apart from their international competitors. Except so far, the office can’t agree on standards -- and hasn’t inspected a single fish.

"They do a great job with beef, pork, and poultry, and we would love to do the same thing with catfish," says Townsend Kyser, a catfish farmer in Greensboro, Alabama.

"We want to make sure we’re putting out a safe product and we want to make sure all other products tagging along with us are safe as we are."

Kyser has been waiting for those guidelines since the 2008 Farm Bill was passed. A new bill was passed in January, which has left him optimistic.

"We haven’t had much luck for the last five years, but we’re hoping we can all move forward from here."

For now, Kyser is getting ready for a busy time of year for catfish farmers across the country – Lent.

“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