Big red barns across Wisconsin are typically filled with herds of dairy cows. But in red barn-like building in Westby in the western part of the state, there's not a hoof to be found. The livestock here is stocked in saltwater.
Wisconsin Public Radio has a story that ruminates on a business that has moved beyond the state's signature ruminant. Wisconsin's first indoor shrimp farm is about to produce its first product for market. Dairyland Shrimp owner Forbes Adam is tending 14,000 Pacific white shrimp that swim in four tanks that look like above-ground swimming pools, heated to a warm 93 degrees.
The LaCrosse Tribune reports that Adam expects to have his first live shrimp available in June, and has already begun taking orders from individuals and restaurants. He also plans to sell his fresh shrimp at nearby farmers markets. The story added that Adam hopes to have 12 to 16 tanks in production by the end of May.
The Westby Times said the process is environmentally friendly, with water in the tanks re-circulated and producing no waste water. The shrimp, purchased from a hatchery in Florida when they are 30 days old, get an organic diet without hormones, chemicals or antibiotics.. After 120 days, the shrimp are ready for market.
Adam, a former excavating contractor, was looking for a new line of work when he heard about inland shrimp farming. After visiting a facility in Indiana, he was hooked.
“I bought a pound of shrimp down there and when I ate it, I was just blown away by the flavor," he said.