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Quixotic Farming

A Missouri family is swimming into the future of fish farming
Photo courtesy of quixoticfarming.com

Unless you caught them yourself, the fish you ate for dinner was probably imported from another country. Randy Constant, an organic farmer from Chillicothe, Missouri saw the need for sustainable, locally-grown fish, so he started a business called Quixotic Farming.  

Claire Constant is the chief marketing officer. She says the fish farm has dozens of tanks and each holds about 10,000 gallons of water and 4,000 pounds of tilapia. They’re run by a recirculating aquaculture system, which Claire says is the future of land-based aquaculture.

"We grow our fish in indoor above-ground tanks with recirculating systems on each tank and a filter attached to each tank which is very beneficial for us because our water is constantly being filtered and recirculated," she says. "So, we get to filter out the waste from our fish and use that on organic crops or vegetables, or use it for fertilizer for other farmers."

Claire says they have one-day old baby tilapia overnighted to them every week from the Netherlands.  It takes 9-months to raise the fish from fry-to-fillet, and they’re pampered the entire time.

"We have a great group of guys and gals who work in our facility to hand-feed four times a day. They’ll go around and check all the tanks. They do a lot of visual testing, but they also do a lot of water quality testing to make sure the pH is balanced, to make sure that the ammonias are right, the nitrates, the nitrites are alright," says Claire. "We don’t use any chemicals or antibiotics to treat our fish, so if there is a problem we use salt."

The demand for their fish is so high, the family is planning to partner with contract growers.

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