Fish - Specifically Bell Aquaculture's Bell Perch™ - Is Back On The Menu At Purdue's Ag Alumni Fish Fry Feb. 7

February 03, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Redkey, IN – Under sponsorship of the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), Bell Aquaculture is helping bring fish back to the menu at Purdue University's Agricultural Alumni Fish Fry this Saturday, Feb. 7. The announcement is made by Michael Miller, Bell Aquaculture President & COO, who says fish – specifically Indiana raised Bell Perch™ – is being reintroduced to the event's menu this year, in addition to pork, at the 11:30 a.m. luncheon in the Toyota Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

"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 yellow perch, raised and processed in Indiana by Bell Aquaculture of Redkey and Albany."

According to Donya Lester, executive secretary of the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association, chicken noodle soup was the main meal when the annual meeting started, and then from 1949 to 1998 fish was served. In 1999, the association decided to serve pork in a show of support for Indiana pork producers who were being hit with devastating low prices. The Ag Alumni Fish Fry is one of the largest, most visible agricultural meetings in the state, making it a perfect place to draw attention to the ISA's initiative to promote Indiana aquaculture.

The guest speaker for this year's event is Andrea Mitchell, who will give guests 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.

Yellow perch is one of the most popular of all North American pan fish. It has a mild, sweet flavor with firm white flesh and low fat levels, making it a favorite in residential and commercial kitchens alike. In years past, yellow perch was the fish typically served at Friday night fish fries in the Great Lakes region.

The vision for a yellow perch farm was born when Miller became personally interested in aquaculture in 1994. After studying this science and becoming involved in the Indiana Aquaculture Association, Inc. (IAAI), he developed a dream to bring the local and personal favorite, yellow perch, back to the area. Miller has been involved with the IAAI for 12 years, including holding the position of secretary/treasurer until recently.

As Miller says, "What started out as an idea on a Post-it note, ended up being 17 file cabinets of information." So after more than 12 years of research, consulting fish experts and a lot of hard work, Bell Aquaculture was formed.

Bell Aquaculture is committed to these four guiding principles in producing its fish:

1) Controlled environment;
2) No toxins;
3) Healthy growth;
4) Gentle to the environment.

About Bell Aquaculture

Bell Aquaculture, based in Redkey, IN, is a producer and processor of farm-raised fish for restaurants and consumer use. Initial production facilities, dedicated to yellow perch, are located in Albany, IN, and comprise the nation's largest yellow perch farm. The corporate headquarters and fish processing facility are located in Redkey. More information about Bell Aquaculture is available at

About Purdue University's Agricultural Alumni Fish Fry

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. 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. For complete details, visit:

About Indiana Soybean Alliance

The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Qualified State Soybean Board (QSSB), as defined in the Soybean Promotion & Research Act (SPARC) (soybean checkoff program) for the State of Indiana to manage the Indiana soybean checkoff program.  In addition, ISA has a membership & policy committee, not funded by checkoff, for the purposes of representing soybean farmers on critical policy and regulatory issues affecting the soybean industry. 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. Visit:  


Jodi Bertram, Realistic Marketing, 913-484-7361,

Donya Lester, Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association, 765-494-8593,

Steve Hart, Indiana Soybean Alliance, 317-347-3620,