Farming Shrimp in the Cedar Valley

Dreamer: Matt Weichers

Business: Northern Iowa Shrimp

Location: Cedar Falls, IA

Industry Contest: Cedar Valley 2013

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“Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st Century. With finite fisheries resources, a growing global population and increasing demand for seafood, the conditions appear ripe for industry growth.”
- Peter Drucker, Economist and Nobel Laureate 1999

Northern Iowa Shrimp is a newly formed business in Cedar Falls that grows Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) in an aquaculture facility, for consumer consumption. We currently employ one full time person besides my wife and myself, with plans to add more. We provide live shrimp for sale to consumers that are looking for a safe and clean source of protein that does not have any added chemicals or hormones and has been produced in an environmentally safe manner. Northern Iowa Shrimp uses a zero exchange aerobic heterotrophic system (ZEAH) an environmentally friendly way to grow shrimp indoors, year round. I am applying for the Dream Big Grow Here grant because with any new business startup we have limited funds. We would use the grant money toward creating a more “green” production process. Implementing more energy efficient equipment would be a costly endeavor that we simply can’t afford at this time. Specifically we would like to buy a solar water heating system that would be used to maintain all of the shrimp grower tanks at the proper temperature. The balance of the grant money would be used for tank insulation which would also be an enormous help with energy efficiency in the long run. Not only would the grant money allow us to be more conservative, responsible energy consumers but would also save us money in the long run which would allow us to reinvest more back into the business.
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