Andy Jones compares the catfish industry to the jagged graph of a heartbeat displayed on an EKG machine. The peaks and valleys of that pulsating line are a vivid metaphor for the fluctuating fortunes of a seasonal business dependent on live animals and a dynamic market.
Jones is in a good position to make the connection. As a second-generation catfish farmer, he’s seen firsthand the highs that come with booming demand and the lows of a devastating fish kill. His father, Austin, started Bear Creek Fisheries in Moorhead, Mississippi, USA, in 1982, and after receiving his master’s in agribusiness, Jones officially joined the family business he’d worked in since childhood.
That was more than a decade ago. Since then, Jones has continually looked for ways to protect the physical health of his stock and the economic health of his farm. And as one who’s never shied away from technology, he’s found that while manpower is important, advancements in automated pond management have put him ahead of the game...