Farming catfish is truly a U.S. seafood industry success story. It started in Arkansas in the 1960s and expanded into an economic powerhouse as Southern soybean and rice farmers built ponds and processing facilities. Most catfish farms today are located in the Mississippi Delta, with additional production in Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. A typical pond is 16 acres and produces 4,000 to 7,000 pounds of catfish per acre. The channel cat is possibly the fastest-growing catfish species in the world. And it’s one of the best protein converters: 1 pound of catfish for every 2 pounds of feed (compared to 7:1 for beef and 4:1 for pork). At market size (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), catfish are harvested and then transported live in tank trucks from the farms to processing plants, where they are processed immediately. Catfish is one of the most quality-controlled products in the food industry, and its farming is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.