Young chefs across Alabama soon will create catfish culinary delights through a partnership of Alabama catfish farmers and state school officials.
Through the inaugural Catfish Culinary Challenge, Alabama Catfish Producers will donate 600 pounds of U.S. Farm-Raised catfish to 40 Alabama high schools. Student chefs and food service worker students from those schools are part of Alabama’s Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) and Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) programs.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with these teachers and culinary programs across the state,” said Sumter County catfish farmer Sid Nelson. “Students may be familiar with the delicious taste of U.S. Farm-Raised catfish served in restaurants, but we want them to create new catfish culinary dishes inside their classrooms.”
Nelson is state committee chairman of the Alabama Catfish Producers, a division of the Alabama Farmers Federation. He said farmers will provide frozen catfish fillets to the first 40 schools that sign up through the Alabama State Department of Education program. Farmers will also educate instructors and students about the safe, sustainable way U.S. Farm-Raised catfish is grown and processed.
The partnership includes a teacher field trip to a catfish farm.
Additionally, the Alabama Catfish Producers will sponsor the FCCLA State Culinary Arts Competition in March.
To apply, teachers are encouraged to contact April Shrader at ashrader@ALSDE.edu.