December 16, 2008

Fish and pork on the menu for Feb. 7 Ag Alumni Fish Fry

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Agricultural Alumni Fish Fry on Feb. 7 will reintroduce fish into the menu - in addition to pork - at the 11:30 a.m. luncheon in the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance is sponsoring the fish that will be served as part of its Aquaculture Initiative. The Indiana Packers Corp. will continue to sponsor the pork, as the group has since 1999.

"When the annual meeting started, chicken noodle soup was the main meal, and then from 1949 to 1998 fish was served," said Donya Lester, executive secretary of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association. "In 1999 we decided to serve pork in a show of support for Indiana pork producers who were being hit with devastating low prices."

Lester said the event is one of the largest, most visible agricultural meetings in the state, making it a perfect place to draw attention to the Indiana Soybean Alliance's (ISA) initiative to promote Indiana aquaculture.

"There are a lot of people who have missed the fish these last 10 years, although they were happy we were supporting Indiana agriculture with the pork we served," Lester said. "This way we cover all our bases. We bring back fish, and it's an Indiana product this time."

In August 2007, the ISA board of directors created an Aquaculture Initiative as part of the ISA's Strategic Plan. The program focuses on increasing the use of soybean meal in Indiana farm-raised fish diets through the growth of the state's aquaculture industry.

"Indiana Soybean Alliance is pleased to sponsor the re-introduction of fish to the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry," said Steve Hart, ISA aquaculture director. "Not only is fish back on the menu, but it is also yellow perch, raised and processed in Indiana by Bell Aquaculture of Albany, Ind."

The guest speaker, Andrea Mitchell, will give attendees an inside look at the national political scene from the perspective of a broadcast news veteran.

Mitchell, the anchor of MSNBC's "The Andrea Mitchell Hour" and chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News, will give her talk, "The View from Washington," based on her extensive background in foreign affairs and political races.

The Fish Fry is the annual meeting of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association. Tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available by contacting the Purdue Ag Alumni office at (765) 494-8593 or by e-mailing . Both pork and fish will be served family style to all patrons, so they can eat either or both.

The Ag Forecast, a program highlighting important topics in agriculture, will precede the Fish Fry starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Grand Hall, also located at the fairgrounds.

Writer: Elizabeth Fritz, (765) 494-8402,

Sources: Donya Lester, (765) 494-8593,

Steve Hart, (317) 347-3620,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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