Rural Missouri - March 2017 - 10
In for the
Quixotic Farming raises their ﬁsh on land
Randy Constant, CEO and found of Quixotic Farming, heads out with a small load of live tilapia from the Chillicothe plant to one of their grocery customers.
by Heather Berry | email@example.com
location. The Missouri grow-out facility is headquartered in the old Wal-Mart
building in Chillicothe.
The family-owned business prides itself on being an environmentally
n the musical "Man of La Mancha," the character Don
conscious company that raises tilapia without the use of growth-stimuQuixote shows us that pursuing what seems to be an
lating hormones or antibiotics. The feed the ﬁsh eat is nutrient-rich and
impossible dream can literally transform the world.
free of chemicals and other harmful ingredients.
That's pretty much what Randy Constant, an organic
Claire serves as chief marketing ofﬁcer for the land-based aquafarmer from Chillicothe, set out to do when he started Quixotic
culture business. Randy says she is "extremely passionate" about
Farming six years ago.
Quixotic's mission of raising the ﬁsh in a safe way for everyone
"After 20 years as an organic farmer, I knew the world wasn't
involved, be it wholesaler or consumer.
going to give up on organic or all-natural food sources and that
"The rise of ocean pollution and those waters being over ﬁshed is
the need for protein levels in diets needed to increase," says Randy.
"My cousin in Hawaii was in the meat and seafood business and told me he a major problem with not only tilapia but many seafood sources," says Claire.
could no longer get the supply of fresh ﬁsh he needed, which was shocking to "With regards to tilapia, China now exports less of the ﬁsh to provide enough for
me since the ocean was right there," he continues. "It seemed to be news the its own growing middle class, so that's another reason we've got to ﬁnd another
world was trying to ignore: that the food supplies we get from the ocean were sustainable source for the ﬁsh or one day, we simply may no longer have it as
Randy says that, plus the fact his daughter, Claire, was adamant about proRaising the little fry
tectimg the environment and "how we were destroying it with the choices we
Quixotic Farming takes extreme care to source the best fry, or baby ﬁsh
made," caused him to consider options to help people as well as the environment. In 2010, the farmer made some shrewd business decisions and bought stock, to raise. The business has a standing order ﬂown in from the Netherlands
an existing ﬁsh operation in Colorado. The company currently raises ﬁsh in every other week.
"You have to start with quality stock to get quality. We ﬂy in 35,000 fry to
facilities in Colorado and Missouri, but only processes ﬁsh at their Colorado
Below Left: Kendall Whittmore prepares buckets of feed for the tilapia.The feed Quixotic Farming uses is nutrient-rich and free of harmful chemicals. Below right: When you walk through
the tilapia nursery, about the only thing you'll hear are the hum of fans and generators because the ﬁsh are pretty docile. But at feeding time, the tanks become a feeding frenzy, with the young
tilapia sometimes ﬂying over one another to get to the food.