First District U.S. Congressman Rick Crawford, speaking at Thursday’s University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture/Fisheries Field Day, said he, his fellow rural-area elected leaders and their knowledgeable supporters from within the trade are doing “all we can do to make sure aquaculture has a voice in Washington.”
Crawford, a Republican, is facing Democrat Scott Ellington, the Jonesboro prosecutor, in the Nov. 6 general election.
Crawford pointed out that his recently realigned district – which includes a portion of northern Jefferson County – now contains more than 95 percent of the state’s aquacultural industry.
He said he takes pride in supporting catfish farming and aquaculture, deeming the combined practice a “public/private partnership that really works.”
Crawford, of Jonesboro, is a member of Congress’ Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.
“It’s important to be able to articulate differences between rural and urban causes and needs,” he said.
He also said he’s learned the “Washington divide” is of a geographic as much as a political nature. He said that as a rural state, Arkansas’ federal delegation is often battling for gains “against some big numbers associated with urban areas.”
At UAPB, the field day also offered a variety of educational opportunities as well as walking and motorized tours of the Aquaculture Research Station, which is located off Oliver Road.
Topics covered by UAPB professionals at the event included:
• Split ponds.
• Trematode control.
• Food fish production strategies.
• Pond chemical treatments.
• Limiting catfish diseases.
• Alternative feeds for bait fish and catfish.
• Grain price forecasts.
• New strategies and treatments for aquatic weeds.
• Emerging regulatory issues for bait fish and sport fish.
• Fish farm safety.