Morrison, IL — Is there a shrimp harvest in Northwest Illinois’ future? The New Mexico Shrimp Co., headquartered in Mesquite, NM, has started to reach out to the Northwest Illinois region, and is looking for potential partners. The company grows fresh, locally grown shrimp using a proprietary process developed at New Mexico State University’s School of Agriculture. With a growing “Farm to Table” movement that encourages more local grown and sustainable food production, the company feels its business model can be easily transferred to other parts of the country and replicated.
Using technology developed by NMSU’s Dr. Tracey Carrillo, the shrimp are grown in tanks and fed a shrimp feed using cottonseed, a waste product from cotton production in the American Southwest. Their first facility, a 7,000 square foot facility with eleven tanks, produces about 12,000 lbs. of shrimp annually, and consumers are extremely satisfied with the product’s taste. Other meal can be developed based on the local area’s agriculture, for example soy meal based in Illinois.
New Mexico Shrimp Co. contacted Whiteside County Economic Development Director Gary Camarano to assist in identifying potential local partners. Mr. Camarano said, “This type of aquaculture project can easily fit in our region. There are some facilities available that would make a good location for production and with several metro areas within a few hours the potential market is there.”
Whiteside County Board Chairman Jim Duffy agreed, stating, “The ‘Farm to Table’ food movement is growing and makes complete sense. With our long tradition of agriculture here, exploring aquaculture and aquaponics makes sense for us. I’d like to see something like this happen here.”
Juan Albert, a business development executive with the NM Shrimp Co., added, “We’ve developed a few worthwhile leads in the area and believe that Northwest Illinois can be a great location for shrimp production. The right entrepreneur can take advantage of the ag know how in the region, repurpose some vacant facilities, benefit from possible USDA grants, and tap into a large market like the Chicago area that is looking for locally grown food product. We’re excited about the possibilities.”
For further information about this opportunity please contact Whiteside County Economic Development Director Gary Camarano at email@example.com.
Photo Caption: Netting shrimp and a view of the production facility in New Mexico