Catfish Farmers To Vote On Assessment Renewals Oct. 12
crawfish and catfish producers will vote Oct. 12 on whether
to continue funding promotion and research in their industries.
Under the current
system, producers pay what are commonly known as "checkoff"
funds based on the number of crawfish sacks used, the amount
of crawfish bait they buy or the tons of catfish feed they
Although the votes
are scheduled on the same date, the referendums involve two
separate boards and two different funding systems –
the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board and the
Louisiana Catfish Promotion and Research Board.
and catfish industries in Louisiana generally have been very
supportive of the activities of their boards, since the money
is spent according to industry priorities," said LSU
AgCenter aquaculture professor Dr. Greg Lutz.
funded by the assessments have focused on statewide foodservice
programs, radio promotions, food-service and hospitality industries
across the country, in-state and national consumer education
and international trade. Recipe and nutritional brochures,
supplier directories and promotional materials also have been
In addition, the
boards also fund research by Louisiana universities that addresses
specific priorities identified by producers and processors.
of Louisiana universities have been able to attract additional
funding for crawfish and catfish research from state and federal
sources as a result of this support from local industry,"
said LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialist Mark Shirley. "In
that way, the crawfish and catfish producers of the state
have been able to greatly increase the ‘bang for their
buck’ in terms of research."
topics over the years have included production and harvesting
problems, reproduction and survival in burrows, processing
methods and market research. Catfish research funded under
the program has addressed flavor control, genetic improvement,
water quality improvement and health management.
for both the Crawfish Promotion and Research Board and the
Catfish Promotion and Research Board must be renewed by producers
every five years. Both are set to expire this year.
The Louisiana Crawfish
Promotion and Research Board was established in 1983 by the
Louisiana Legislature to provide a voluntary method of raising
funds for the betterment of the Louisiana crawfish industry.
Funds are generated
for crawfish promotion and research activities through a voluntary
assessment of one cent for each sack holding less than 25
pounds of crawfish and 2 cents for each sack holding over
25 pounds. Additional funds are generated through an assessment
of one-quarter cent per pound of all artificial crawfish bait
sold in the state.
In 1990, the Legislature
also established the Louisiana Catfish Promotion and Research
Board, with a similar goal for Louisiana’s catfish producers.
Funds for catfish promotion and research are provided by a
voluntary assessment of $2 per ton of catfish feed bought,
sold or manufactured within the state.
vote on the renewals, participation still is voluntary. Those
who don’t want to participate still can seek refunds
of the assessments charged to them.
Voting on the renewals
will be held on Oct. 12 at each parish LSU AgCenter Extension
Service office in the state. A complete list of those offices
can be found at under the "Parish Offices" listing
To cast a ballot,
a crawfish producer must show proof of purchase of at least
100 pounds of bait or sales of 100 sacks during the previous
12 months. Catfish producers must show proof of purchase of
at least 5 tons of catfish feed during the previous 12 months.
Once the ballots
have been officially counted, the boards will notify the participating
producers of the referendum outcomes.