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Catfish Festival, Trade Show March 24-26

For a weekend in Wrightsville, Ga., the catfish will be king. Former President Jimmy Carter's March 24 formal opening of the Catfish INT processing plant will trigger the three-day Catfish Festival and Trade Show.

It's not about straw hats, bare feet and cane poles. Catfish have brought big business to this east-central-Georgia community. Catfish INT expects to process 55,000 pounds of fish per eight-hour shift. It will take at least 3,000 acres of water to keep that much fish coming.

The March 24-26 celebration of fun, fins and fenders will include an arts-and-crafts fair, antique farm equipment and antique cars. At the center of it all is a March 25 catfish trade show that spotlights this growing Georgia industry.

Trade Show March 25

The trade show will be at the American Legion Fairgrounds on Highway 15 south of Wrightsville. Companies from all over the Southeast will display catfish equipment, feeds and supplies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a seminar will focus on getting started in the catfish business. University of Georgia scientists Gary Burtle and George Lewis and others will discuss all aspects of building ponds and raising catfish.

To learn more about the Catfish Festival and Trade Show, call Mark Crosby (912-864-3373) at the Johnson County office of the UGA Extension Service. Or e-mail him at pmc@uga.edu.

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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