Home » Heartland Catfish Co. Wraps 25th Anniversary Celebration With Awards

Heartland Catfish Co. Wraps 25th Anniversary Celebration With Awards

Heartland Catfish
Heartland Catfish honors employees who have been with the company since its beginning, 25 years ago.

Itta Bena, Mississippi-based Heartland Catfish Co. recently wrapped up its 25th anniversary celebration. Employees who have been with the company since its beginning were honored for their dedication.

Jonathan Mills, VP of sales and marketing, and Ric Perkins, general manager, presented awards to team members, including CEO Danny Walker, for their 25 years of service. 

“It is a privilege to celebrate our 25th anniversary, especially in the wake of a tumultuous year for many industries, including the food service and retail customers we serve,” said Danny Walker, CEO. “We are proud to deliver consistent, high-quality, on-flavor U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish to our customers year in and year out, and we continue working hard to uphold our founder’s high standards and legacy of honor, integrity, frugality, determination, hard work and Christian principles.”

Heartland Catfish Co. was founded in 1996 by William Tackett, his son, Jim Tackett, and son- in-law, Joe Walker. Tackett originally built his first catfish pond in 1968 in Humphreys County, Mississippi, and grew to expand into Leflore and Sunflower counties, where he and his family farmed, built more catfish ponds and began a catfish hatchery with brooder and fingerling operations.

The farming operation grew to some 7,500 acres of water for catfish and 10,000 acres of cropland.

It was difficult to transport the vast quantities of fish to farmer-owned cooperative processors in the area, so Tackett and Tackett Fish Farms launched plans to process their own fish, founding Heartland Catfish Co. in 1996 in Itta Bena, with a 34,000-square-foot catfish processing plant. In its first year of operation, the company processed 12 million pounds of live catfish.

In 2001, the company constructed a new 78,000-square-foot plant connected to the original facility, with capacity to process 75 million pounds of live catfish per year. In 2008, Heartland purchased a processing facility in Greensboro, Alabama, growing processing capacity to 110 million pounds of live catfish per year.

 Several years later and upon expansion of its original processing facility in Itta Bena by an additional 25,000 square-feet, the Greensboro facility was closed in early 2020 and all operations were consolidated to Heartland Catfish Co.’s Itta Bena headquarters, where production reached 115 million pounds of catfish processed annually.

In its 25-year history, Heartland Catfish Co. has brought thousands of jobs to Mississippi and is regarded as one of the largest vertically integrated entities in the U.S. Farm-RaisedCatfish industry. Heartland Catfish Co.’s catfish products can be found in grocery stores and restaurants across the country.

Heartland Catfish Co. celebrated its 25th anniversary with customers and catfish consumers throughout the year by sharing its history and values and spotlighting customer.

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