The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy up to $5 million worth of domestic farm-raised catfish for school lunch and other programs.
Officials said Tuesday the agreement could give the industry more leverage in its fight against Asian fish imports. The deal comes amid escalating costs for catfish feed, which have nearly doubled in price since last year.
Roger Barlow is vice president of Catfish Farmers of America and he says the multimillion dollar deal could help to lead to more federal government purchases.
About 95 percent of the nation's catfish are produced on farms in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama.