American Bullfrog - frog farm stockIt was touted in American magazines as a money-making enterprise. Henry Jacka and Sydney Willson imported ‘breeding stock’ of bullfrogs from the American Frog Canning Company and established a frog farm in the Victorian country town of Euroa. However, the frogs apparently failed to breed and the enterprise failed.>‘Paradise’, Euroa by Bernadette Hince

Former Euroa resident, Bernadette Hince, has produced a paper for the Australian National University and Centre for Historical Studies, National Museum of Australia, that recounts the curious story of the frog farm. She writes that, although there was apparently no market for frogs’ legs in Australia in the 1930s, some Australians were attracted by advertisements that appeared in US magazines such as Modern Mechanix.

Frogs were imported by sea from the USA, with a high mortality rate en route. The Euroa venture, known as the Watson Frog Farm, was officially opened on 21 August, 1937. It  received considerable publicity in the local and the Melbourne press. However, according to local accounts, it quietly closed without a single frog’s leg being sold.

Frog farming was touted as a profitable business in the United States during the 1930s. However, it seemed most of the enterprises there suffered the same fate as the Euroa operation. Despite this, by 2010 the international market for frog meat was estimated at $40 million, with farming operations underway in Europe, Brazil, and Southeast Asia.