Illinois farm fresh shrimp?

WHITESIDE COUNTY, Ill (KWQC) – Talks are in the works to bring shrimp farming to Whiteside County.

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 shrimp.

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. Other meal can be developed based on local agriculture, like soy meal 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.”


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