Bullfrog Up for Grabs
quirky local fish farm’s “soul proprietor” considers retirement and looks for a new owner to take the reins
Bullfrog “Eat My Fish” Farm, a local and well-loved fish farm/family fun destination, is looking for a new owner to take over the business and breathe new life into it.
According to Herby Radmann, the self-designated “soul proprietor” of the Bullfrog Fish Farm, he started his “fish farm adventure” in the spring of 1987 with the “discovery of a plentiful and pure water resource hidden just below the surface of a marginal and sandy farm field,” which brought with it a vision for fish farming as a way of life. In March 1994, Radmann officially opened the fish farm, which is located south of Menomonie near the Dunnville Barrens State Natural Area.
“Need for change seldom happens for a single reason. For me, this fish farm adventures has been for 30 years. I’m just not as physical as I once was. We can retire a dream or pass it on.” – Herby Radmann, “soul proprietor” of Bullfrog “Eat My Fish” Farm
The place has continuously expanded over the years and currently offers farm retail sales, pond-side fishing, group outings, educational tours, a food and beer garden appropriately featuring shore lunches and sometimes live music, local route and regional services for restaurants and grocery stores, farmer’s market sales in Eau Claire and Menomonie, and live trout sales and guidance for stocking purposes.
Radmann said he has run the business for decades and at this point, he would like to retire and see the farm move on with a new generation taking the reins. “Need for change seldom happens for a single reason,” Radmann said. “For me, this fish farm adventure has been for 30 years. I’m just not as physical as I once was. We can retire a dream or pass it on.”
While Radmann feels ready to retire, he would rather the fish farm itself continue to grow and evolve without him, and notes he feels there are ample opportunities for growth and expansion at the fish farm. “The character of this land and water resource offers favorable conditions for expansion. The fish farm facility has capabilities to launch and support any number of other community farming/business adventures (like) aquaponics, asparagus crop, herb gardens, fish-based fertilizers, small livestock, education, research, alternative energy, recreation, a music/arts center, children/family camp, farm housing … to just mention a few.”
Radmann said if there is no new owner, he would have to retire the farm altogether. “It is much like a person retiring,” he said. “It can mean many things, yet it supposes a significant change.” Recent scouting efforts to rustle up a passionate new owner have turned up a good number of interested farmers and entrepreneurs, he said. While he initially figured he might have to retire the farm sometime in April, this might not be the case quite yet – or may be kicked down the road for just a bit longer.
There have been so many great memories, big and small, created for Radmann at the farm while seeing his dream come to fruition, and he noted new memories are constantly being made and shared by all of those who come to the farm and enjoy the products. “It has really made a storyteller out of me,” Radmann said. “For many of our longtime farm friends they would say they have enjoyed watching, or even partaking, in the farm being built and its growth.”
The memories are plentiful. Visitors have enjoyed fishin’ ’round the pond with friends and family, Sunday afternoon live music and shore lunches. “The Bullfrog Fish Farm is a good place to be,” Radmann said before re-iterating the place’s classic tagline: “Just Follow the Yellow Fish Road.”
As for potential new owners out there, Radmann offers the following advice: “Any takers would need to recognize their own vision, mission, and practices. They would need to have suitable abilities, attributes, resources, and an adventurous spirit.”
To learn more about the Bullfrog Fish Farm, its unique offerings, and the adventurous opportunity to take over and make it your own, checkout www.eatmyfish.com.
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