Samuel I. Hinote

A native of Robertsdale, Alabama, Sam Hinote earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture administration at Auburn in 1965 and his master’s in agricultural economics in 1967. He completed several advanced study programs, such as the Agribusiness Executive Program at Harvard University and the Dun and Bradstreet Credit Management program.

Hinote began his career in economic research in 1967 as market analyst for Nebraska Consolidated Mills, which later became ConAgra, Inc. In 1972, Hinote opened ConAgra’s processing plant in Isola, Mississippi, and in 1973 became general manager of fish products operations in Jackson, Mississippi. His service to the industry included two terms as president of the American Catfish Marketing Association. In 1979, he received the Catfish Farmers Marketing Association Award for his contributions.

Hinote moved to Indianola, Mississippi, in 1980 to become manager and then founding president and CEO of Delta Pride Catfish. In 1983, his contributions to the Mississippi state economy were recognized with the Governor’s Bronze Glove Award.

Internationally known for his expertise, Hinote was a featured speaker at the International Seafood Conference held in Switzerland in 1986 and Amsterdam in 1988. Also in 1988, he was named to the National Fish and Seafood Promotional Council in Washington.

Hinote moved his family back home to Alabama in 1990 and purchased Blue Waters Catfish Processing in Demopolis. At Blue Waters, he implemented an aggressive plan that doubled the workforce and tripled the processing capacity.

To quote one friend and colleague, “Hinote’s disciplined inclination to take the high road of life’s journey and mentor this quality was one of Sam’s most significant contributions. He did this when it was not always the easy, less-costly way. He did this when there was great personal risk. He did this when his family’s livelihood was threatened. These character traits were his contributions to the agricultural industry he served so well.”

Sam Hinote died suddenly on March 6, 2010. He and his wife, Ren, had three children: Clint, Amy, and David; and three grandchildren: Meg, Hunter, and Holly.