KATV 7 News
posted 06/15/09 9:52 pm
Little Rock, AR - Stimulus money is on the way to Arkansas fish farmers. Fifty million dollars was just approved nationally for aquaculture farmers. Arkansas will see about 7 million of that and some farmers say it will keep their business afloat.
Thousands of Arkansas's acres are home to goldfish, catfish, and hybrid striped bass breeders. After more than a year of their feed costs spiking, they see any help as relief. Swimming upstream is how some local fish farmers felt in Keo when their feed costs ballooned in 2007. Prices increased from $800 per ton to $1,200.
(Mike Freeze, Co-Owner Keo Fish Farm) “Your aquaculture farmers are a big part of the Arkansas agriculture.”
With $7 million from the stimulus package being split among all the fish farmers, Mike Freeze isn’t sure how much he'll see, but he's says it will be put to use.
(Freeze) “For every dollar that a fish farmer spends it has 7 times that impact on the local economy.”
The plans for his portion will go toward feed to keep from drowning in the current economy.
(Freeze) “I honestly feel like I'm getting back some of my tax dollars that I pay.”
He says he plans to get his paper work in by Monday and the government will be cutting checks for the farmers next week.