LIKE SO MANY aspects of the Catfish Belt, the catfish industry is steeped in tradition. Throughout August, The Catfish Institute (TCI) celebrated that tradition with a series of activities during National Catfish Month.

“National Catfish Month is the perfect opportunity for us to spread the word about the quality and consistency of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish,” said Henry Gantz, president of The Catfish Institute. “This year, we're taking advantage of that opportunity like we never have before with attention-grabbing ideas and programs.”

To kick off the celebration, TCI developed a special mailing, which was sent to national television producers and magazine editors. Designed to convey that U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is enjoyed in all regions of the United States, the box looks like a suitcase, featuring travel stickers on its surface.

The contents of the suitcase included a journal, which details a fictitious couple's journey throughout the states, sampling diverse U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish dishes along the way.

TCI representatives traveled to New York in early August to meet with national food writers, editors, and producers, as well as producers and representatives from Food Network television.