Shrimp off-season

This video takes a look at Bradford farm off-season, before Tim Reinbott and David Brune start raising shrimp in June.

Old McDonald had a farm with chickens, cows and pigs- not shrimp. There is a farm, however, that raises shrimp, but it is not like Old McDonald’s.

Bradform Farm is a research and extension center for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri-Columbia. It produces two types of shrimp: fresh-water and salt-water.

Tim Reinbott, superintendent, came up with the idea to raise shrimp after reading about it being done in Alabama. After doing research and making the necessary preparations, Reinbott started raising fresh-water shrimp at the farm in 2007. The rest is history.

Image of a prawn. Courtesy of NSW.gov

Image of a prawn. Courtesy of NSW.gov.

Raising shrimp on a land-bound farm is a peculiar endeavor. Reinbott is primarily responsible for the fresh-water shrimp and his colleague, David Brune, grows the salt-water shrimp. The process of growing fresh-water shrimp, also called prawns, is much simpler than growing salt-water shrimp, Reinbott said.

Each season, Reinbott first orders 4,000 tiny juvenile fresh-water shrimp from a company in Texas, to stock the farm’s two ponds. Once they have created the proper habitat, they put the inch-long prawns in the water in June and don’t really see them until harvest. The process only lasts five months.

Each pond can hold approximately 2,000 shrimp. Shrimp are cannibalistic, meaning they will eat one another, if the population in the pond becomes too dense.

When harvested, the prawns can be anywhere from 4 to 6 inches long. Campus Dining, with the University of Missouri-Columbia has first choice, and after that, the farm offers them to local restaurants, such as Trey’s Bistro.

“We’re kind of like drug-dealers,” Reinbott joked.

Unlike the shrimp found at the supermarket, prawns have a sweet taste similar to lobster. In Reinbott’s opinion, they taste best sautéed with butter and garlic sauce.

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