News Drury Named Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year

Drury Named Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year

Drury Named Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year
August 1, 2023 |

By Maggie Edwards

Golden west Alabama sunshine, catfish ponds and green pastures of grazing cattle paint the picture of excellence at Drury Catfish and Cattle in Greensboro. 

“Farming is really all I have ever known,” said Wallace Drury, 35. “I spent my childhood here and always knew I wanted to come back to the farm.” 

Wallace further cultivated a love for the land as he earned an ag degree from Auburn University and worked for Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation for six years.

That same work ethic, drive and passion earned him the title of 2023 Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year. He was selected by fellow catfish farmers and will promote U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish over the next year.

“The award is an honor for me. My dad, Bubba Drury, was named Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year about seven years ago,” Wallace said. “It is hard to put into words what it means to wake up and be with my dad every day and learn from him on the farm. I look up to him and hope to be half the man he is.”

Wallace and wife Sarah Beth, 34, are raising the farm’s fifth generation — daughters Kennedy, 7, Rowen, 4, and Molly, 4 months.

Farmers like Wallace and Bubba are essential to making the catfish industry in Alabama a success, said Federation Catfish Division Director William Green. 

“Alabama ranks second in the country for catfish production,” Green said. “Wallace is one of the many faces of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Catfish is a clean and healthy product that feeds people around the world, and we’re grateful for the growers who make that happen.”

After Wallace came back to the farm full time in 2018, he and Bubba began implementing more technology.

“We put in an oxygen monitoring system we can see and operate from our iPad and phones,” Wallace said. “That has been a valuable tool over the last couple of years, and we were excited to make the change.”

In the heart of Alabama’s Catfish Capital, boots hit the ground early. 

“There is no typical day for us, but in the summer, our day starts at daylight,” Wallace said. “My dad starts feeding while I check ponds and oxygen monitors. Then we switch, and I feed the second half of the farm.” 

Alabama Farmers Federation Catfish Division Director William Green, Federation Area 6 Organization Director Mac Higginbotham and Alabama Catfish Farmer of the Year Wallace Drury visit on Drury’s farm in Greensboro.

The father-son duo raises about 5 million pounds of catfish annually. Additionally, they have 600 head of cattle, raise Brangus bulls and have a small registered herd. 

“We have channel catfish that we multiple crop, which means there are different times that we stock the ponds. We sell fish from those ponds a couple times a year,” Wallace said. “We also raise hybrid catfish, which are raised in a single year in a single pond and are only harvested one time.”

Farming has been in the family for generations, Wallace said.

“Before my father started our row crop operation in the ‘70s, this was a dairy,” he said. “After gradually building catfish ponds, my dad farmed his first crop of fish in the early ‘80s.”

Wallace and wife Sarah Beth, 34, are raising the farm’s fifth generation — daughters Kennedy, 7, Rowen, 4, and Molly, 4 months.

“It means so much to me to have my three girls outside on the farm,” he said.  I hope they learn work ethic and know it takes hard work to succeed.” 

For Sarah Beth, the best part of farming is seeing her girls grow up the same way their dad did. 

“It’s so special to me. They learn so much every day and see how hard their dad works and how much time and sacrifice goes into the family business,” said Sarah Beth, a counselor at Southern Academy in Greensboro. “They have so many questions all the time. They love when they get to go to work with Dad.”

Wallace Drury of Hale County was named the 2023 Alabama Catifsh Farmer of the Year. He and his family live on a cattle and catfish farm in Greensboro.

In addition to volunteering with the Federation’s Alabama Catfish Producers, Wallace serves as vice president of the Hale County Farmers Federation. 

“The Federation does unbelievable things for farmers,” Wallace said. “We get tied up on the farm and know that we have Federation folks in Montgomery fighting for us. I appreciate what the organization does for our farm and our family.”

The Federation’s Green said most of Alabama’s roughly 85 catfish farms are in Black Belt Region counties of Hale, Dallas, Greene, Perry and Sumter.

Wallace said he’s proud to be in that number.

“It’s good to see young people still involved in the catfish industry,” Wallace said. “U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is a healthy product, and it makes me proud to put something on my family’s table and tables around the world.”

Learn more about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish at

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