A Trip to the Bayou – Fishermen and Farmers Bond Over Seafood and Nutrients
April 12, 2017
The Institute’s Policy Director, Margaret Krome, says she never ate so much delicious seafood in her life. With eleven others – farmers, cameramen, and reporters – Krome traveled to the bayous of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana in late March to reciprocate a visit to Southwest Wisconsin last September from three fishermen families. They had come up in September at the invitation of Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and Iowa County’s farmer-led watershed group to celebrate that group’s farm conservation practices and explain how they affect quality of water coming down the Mississippi and impacting their livelihoods as fishermen. “Nutrients that Wisconsin farmers keep on farms not only help keep our farms profitable; they don’t contribute to the growing Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico,” explained Krome.
The Wisconsin group was treated to a day spent trawling for shrimp in the Gulf, meetings with Dead Zone researchers, a tour of a shrimp-shelling plant, and boundless hospitality, served up with the very best Cajun cuisine, personal warmth, and even a Cajun band. Three other Wisconsinites – a farm family and another agricultural reporter – who couldn’t join the trip will be visiting Terrebonne Parish in late April. “We all came away in a swoon. We’ve formed a real attachment between these fishing and farming communities, and we’re going to have even more fishermen come up this next September. We’re bonding over nutrients!” said Krome.