WILLMAR—Giving customers “revolutionary solutions” to help them “feed the world” was the driving force that engineers at Nova-Tech Engineering in Willmar used to develop an all-in-one piece of equipment that performs multiple tasks to prepare fresh shrimp for market.
The automated platform, called ShrimpWorks, has the potential to dramatically change how fresh shrimp are processed here in west central Minnesota’s burgeoning shrimp industry and in countries around the world — including
WILLMAR—A unique working relationship between a former dairy farmer from Blomkest, two former poultry farmers from Danube and a high-tech engineering company in Willmar could produce the first commercial-scale saltwater shrimp to be born, raised and processed in Minnesota.
There are some moving pieces to the puzzle to fit together yet, but the picture looks promising.
“Everyone’s watching to see what happens,” said Becky Bruns, who is nearly done upgrading equipment at her farm-raised shrimp
For aquaculture farmer Paul Damhof, putting up the “sold out” placard along his roadside billboard has become almost as much of a daily chore as checking the pH levels of his shrimp tanks.
With customers across a 150-mile radius and few industry competitors to contend with, Blomkest shrimp farm Simply Shrimp LLC continues with meeting demand.
“On weekends, holidays, it’s nothing to have 20, 30, 40 people driving up on the yard, “Damhof said. “It’s gone as soon as we get (shrimp) up
BLOMKEST—When the Damhof family of Blomkest retired from the dairy business after 50 years of milking cows earlier this year, they didn’t retire from raising livestock completely. Today, instead of Holstein dairy cows filling the barns, there are now tens of thousands of Pacific white shrimp being raised in what was once a calving barn.
“It has been very rewarding, very successful,” said Paul Damhof, who founded and is running Simply Shrimp LLC. Assisting him are members of his
NEW LONDON—Mark Tanner’s business of raising walleye to stock popular fishing lakes is about as Minnesotan as you can get.
But he hopes his new sideline business of raising saltwater shrimp for people to buy fresh by the pound and take home to grill, boil or saute with butter will become a new Minnesota tradition.
“They’re good,” said Tanner, commenting on the home-grown shrimp he taste-tested recently.
Locals will have a chance to find that out for themselves this week