Home in Noxubee County
Bill Saul and his family joined a growing community of Mennonite farmers settled in Noxubee County, Mississippi, where the farmland was reasonable, and soybean prices were strong.
Saul Fish Processors, est. 1978
In 1978, Bill Saul found a new use for the irrigation pond on his Noxubee County farm: growing catfish like farmers in the Delta. He began selling hand-dressed catfish to grocery stores alongside his vegetable crops. Mississippi’s desire for store-bought, high-quality, fresh catfish took off, with demand quickly rising.
Hard Times, Great Opportunity
Farmers everywhere suffered when the price of soybeans crashed in 1983, but in Noxubee County, Bill Saul needed farmers to help him fulfill booming catfish orders—many jumped at the opportunity.
The Rise and Reign of Catfish
Farmers across Noxubee County had converted their soybean acres into catfish ponds and entered into agreements with Saul Fish Processors. He bought and processed their fish, and in 1989, he constructed a facility that increased both his production speed and capacity. Bill Saul’s priority on quality kept demand high, while his fair, honest practices kept the supply consistent.
Superior Catfish Starts Strong
Nearing retirement, Bill Saul decided to sell his business in 1994 to the community farmers who had supplied him. Noxubee County Producers, Inc., also known as Superior Catfish Products, opened a facility capable of processing 30,000 pounds of catfish daily.
A Superior Expansion
To accommodate continued growth, Superior Catfish executed a $17 million expansion to house two new, USDA-compliant processing lines. They now have 85,000 sq. ft. under roof with 42,500 sq. ft. of a new facility in added production room, packaging, and freezer storage. Twenty-five people were brought on to help meet a 30 percent increase in production. Today, Superior Catfish is Noxubee County’s largest private employer.