What do you like about doing business in Ohio? In general, Ohio has a farm-friendly and supportive atmosphere for agricultural endeavors. I appreciate the honesty and integrity of state and local inspectors and agencies. I also appreciate the access to state officials to address current concerns and their ability to correct legislative and regulatory misdirection and mistakes as needed.
Description of business: Freshwater Farms of Ohio is family-owned and operated by three generations of the Smith family and their experienced staff.
Today, the 24-acre farm is the state’s largest indoor fish hatchery, raising up to 100,000 pounds of fish yearly. The fish are raised in clean water, without environmental contaminants, and fed clean feeds. Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, catfish, minnows, goldfish and koi are raised both indoors and outdoors and are available to the public for stocking or consumption. A century-old barn has been converted into a retail store that sells fresh, frozen and smoked trout fillets and spreads, Ohio-grown products such as maple syrup, honey, cheeses and a wide variety of pond and water garden supplies. The farm also hosts the annual Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival.
Sustainability is a big part of the farm's operation. Recirculating aquaculture systems, which use tanks and filters to continuously recycle the well water are utilized around the farm. The main fish barn is warmed by solar heaters. The retail barn is cooled by geo-thermal water which is reused for the fish. Freshwater Farms has been a leader in developing grain-based and alternative feed sources for raising fish and shrimp.