Q&A with Harvest Select’s Randy Rhodes
Editor’s note: In 2018, the Global Aquaculture Alliance will spotlight various members dedicated to GAA’s mission of responsible aquaculture. Membership starts at only $50 for individuals and $5,000 for businesses. Start utilizing our extensive benefits.
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Alabama, living mostly in Tuscaloosa. I was blessed to have the privilege to live in an area of rich farm land and was exposed to agriculture and aquaculture since childhood. In an area where fresh air and Southern traditions are abundant, it was fate that I chose a profession that would permanently link me to my roots and love for the land.
As an adult, I have been involved in the seafood industry (primarily domestic catfish) for over 35 years and have been involved in many areas of the business, including farming, sales, marketing distribution and R&D. In performing in the various roles, I have been fortunate to travel to many wonderful places within the United States as well as internationally. Even more of a blessing has been all the friends and colleagues that have been a part of the journey.
I currently serve as president of Harvest Select, a vertically integrated catfish producing and processing company located throughout Alabama and Mississippi. Prior to Harvest Select, I served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for the largest U.S. domestic catfish processor. At one point, I owned and operated a seafood restaurant but was eventually drawn back to the farming and processing side of aquaculture.
Why did you join GAA?
I joined because the mission and goals of the organization are in line with our practices as a U.S. farm-raised catfish company. As a small part of the seafood industry, it is important for us to partner with GAA and unify with other companies to exhibit responsible practices, educate and promote excellent products. More importantly, it is about where we source our catfish — from communities made of families that have invested their lives into making sure we have a wholesome food source to help feed the world and provide for their families. It’s about heritage and the generations that have created a bond of the past and the present within our industry.
It is my responsibility to contribute to protecting, safeguarding and advancing aquaculture for future generations. A partnership with GAA allows us to continually hold ourselves to high standards and that will go a long way in ensuring sustainability and growth.
What solutions do responsible aquaculture provide?
First and foremost, it provides a healthy food source. We also have the opportunity to contribute more toward a food source for our growing population but that’s only if we can continue to get better at what we do. Responsible aquaculture also provides us with peace of mind that we have done all we can do to protect our natural resources.
What are the three words that best describe the future of the industry?
Promising. Limitless. Diverse.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve traveled to?
Brazil. I was able to visit Iguazu Waterfall, considered the most beautiful waterfall in the world. The waterfall is located right at the border of the countries of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It was amazing to witness its beauty and power.
Randy Rhodes and other GAA members are listed on our website.