USDA Suspends Development of U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish

January 19, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced that it will suspend work related to the development of voluntary U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products.

The 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills directed the Secretary of Agriculture to establish, within USDA, a voluntary fee-based grading program for catfish.  Standards are the foundation of the grading program and must be developed prior to establishing a grading program.  AMS invited the public to submit information, background, comments, and data to assist in the development of U.S. Standards for Grades of Catfish and Catfish Products in a notice published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2016.

Based on the responses received from the Federal Register notice, as well as additional feedback from stakeholders through other public meetings and calls, AMS concluded that there is not sufficient interest in USDA-AMS standards for catfish or an AMS-administered grading program at this time.  AMS will re-engage if sufficient interest exists in the future.

The notice will publish in the January 23, 2017, Federal Register.  For additional information, contact Bucky Gwartney, Marketing Specialist, Standardization Branch; USDA, AMS, QAD; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Stop 0258, Room 3932-S; Washington, DC 20250; by phone at (202) 720-1424, or via email at

Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program