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Tru Shrimp Not Breaking Ground in Madison Yet

Dennis Daugaard and Russ Olson were all smiles and giggles in January when Tru Shrimp finagled South Dakota into offering them a bigger corporate welfare package than Minnesota was shelling out. Tru Shrimp was supposed to start building their shrimp plant this month:

Construction on Tru Shrimp’s facility, known as a harbor, is expected to begin in June at Madison’s Lakeview Industrial Park, with production to begin 18 to 24 months later. The company will raise shrimp in shallow tanks filled with water that is cleaned and reused. No chemicals or antibiotics will be used.

The announcement that Tru Shrimp had selected Madison was one of the last actions taken by Dennis Daugaard in his final days as South Dakota’s governor [“Ag Production Diversifies in South Dakota Aquaculture,” SD Ag Connection via KBHB Radio, 2019.03.03].

Uh oh:

Eric Fosheim, executive director for the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, delivered updates to the city and county commissioners during June meetings that included information about a proposed Tru Shrimp plant in Madison, housing and child day-care.

In speaking to county officials, Fosheim noted that a proposed June 1 ground-breaking for a Madison Tru Shrimp plant was canceled. No new ground-breaking date is currently set for the facility that will raise shrimp intended for human consumption.

Fosheim said Tru Shrimp officials were in the “…beginning stages of their fund-raising efforts” [Chuck Clement, “Fosheim: LAIC Optimistic About Tru Shrimp,” Madison Daily Leader, 2019.06.17].

Tru Shrimp abandoned Luverne due to Minnesota’s supposedly “heavy hand” of regulations. So what slow hand could be holding them up on our side of the border? Who’s keeping Dennis and Russ from widening their smiles with some Madison-raised shrimp?


  1. mike from iowa 2019-06-18

    Franken-shrimp? Have these lines of shrimp been genetically altered to grow bigger and faster, like GMO salmon, many of which have escaped into the oceans? Hmmmm.

  2. Clyde 2019-06-18

    How do they expect to compete with Vietnamese shrimp raised beneath the family latrine??

    Oh, right, big state subsidy!

  3. Porter Lansing 2019-06-18

    Clyde. Do you know what politically correct means? It means you can say anything you want but people can alert you that your above statement is offensive to them.

  4. Eve Fisher 2019-06-18

    Gosh! And here we all thought that they had all their funding lined up and ready to go!
    (Mocking laughter heading off into the distance.)

  5. jerry 2019-06-18

    Clyde, here is how to be competitive from Vietnam!

    I don’t see how the tru shrimp will be able to make that little thing called taste and quality work.

  6. Debbo 2019-06-18

    It seems like some righties, perhaps Steve Pearson and others, were chortling about taking business away from Minnesota. I hope he’s not choking on his chortle now.

    Could it be that Tru Shrimp is a true scam?

  7. Clyde 2019-06-19

    Well folks, I’ve seen far less glowing reports on Vietnamese shrimp farming. Either way Vietnamese labor works for almost nothing and this country is very friendly to country’s that work for almost nothing.
    As long as this company can talk Repub’s into giving them a free ride for the promise of “JOB’S” then maybe they can get fat on shrimp!

  8. Clyde 2019-06-19

    Sorry if my statement seemed offensive Porter but I’v e been in those country’s where every house next to the river’s had a pier with a little out house at the end of it.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-22

    Debbo, you’d think that if the Trumpistani economy is booming like never before, Tru Shrimp would have no problem finding the additional financing it needs to capitalize on South Dakota’s corporate welfare. But maybe they’re following the Trump business model of take the money and run.

  10. Eve Fisher 2019-06-22

    Cory, I think that’s exactly TruShrimp’s business model – take the money and run.

  11. jerry 2019-06-22

    Daugaard’s problem was that he was not as skilled as Rounds in the art of grifting. Looks like a job for Joop to dust off the EB5 stuff and call up the old gang..minus Benda of course.

    Clyde, Those with septic systems around Madison and Lake County are much the same with drain systems that eventually get into the water table that we use for drinking and for other household uses. A turd is a turd no matter what country you are in.

    Shrimp are scavengers, just like carp, that clean debris and organic matter from the water.

    “May 24, 2019 – Developed shrimp are scavengers, crawling on the ocean floor eating organic matter for shrimp nutrition. Therefore, the diets of adult shrimp depend upon where the shrimp are located. Wild shrimp in the ocean eat plant matter, dead fish, clams, snails and crabs, worms and any other decaying organic matter they find.”

    When you see crawdads in the water, you know they are doing their jobs. The wages the Vietnamese get for their work would be on the same scale as wages paid in South Dakota. It all has to do with the economy. So Dong there per hour would equate to dollar’s here. Keep in mind that Vietnam is a developing country, so there are incentives to help that economy get on it’s feet. Cost of living in Vietnam is substantially less than in the US. Working poor in Vietnam same same as working poor in the United States, an equal opportunity screwing.

  12. Debbo 2019-06-22

    “Working poor in Vietnam same as working poor in the United States, an equal opportunity screwing.”

    Perfectly put Jerry. That’s exactly what’s happening. To quote another sharp brain, “Politics isn’t Left v. Right. It’s Top v. Bottom.” Jim Hightower.

  13. Porter Lansing 2019-06-22

    So what, Clyde? Your slur is textbook prejudice. Because people live in a house at the end of a pier you’ve prejudged their work ethic, sanitary ethics and ability to contribute to the food chain? As a chef I’ve cooked a ton of Vietnamese and Thai frozen shrimp in a dozen different ways. No illness, problems, or complaints. I trust that product more than I trust the shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, which the Trump Administration has lowered the standards for after the summer’s long Horizon oil spill contaminated the water for decades to come.

  14. happy camper 2019-06-22

    Oh my so many spouting off about things of which they are completely ignorant. There’s a small-scale functional facility in Balaton, MN already producing a high-quality product, you can go there and visit the operation but why waste the letters you’d rather toss out your snark. They need to raise a tremendous amount of money from institutional investors on what is definitely a speculative investment. Maybe it won’t proceed but the market is there for a top quality product. The concept is sound.

  15. mike from iowa 2019-06-22

    State of MInnesota spent 2 mil building roads and City of LuVerne had 600k invested in Tru Shrimp when they sold out to South Dakota and now South Dakota’s waters have to handle high mineral levels from the plant.

    Nice guys., HC.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-29

    “speculative investment”: you mean Daugaard spent three years working for a speculative investment instead of a surer deal?

  17. Eve Fisher 2019-06-29

    From the recent Argus Leader article: “State and local officials committed $6.5 million in taxpayer dollars for a low-interest loan for the Tru Shrimp project this winter, including $5.5 million directly from the governor’s Future Fund… Money from state and local agencies, however, has not been enough to justify starting. It will help Tru Shrimp prepare for the Madison site, and is being used to help cover research and development costs at Tru Shrimp’s Balaton, Minnesota-based facility, Brink-Thordson said.”
    In other words, South Dakota, Lake County, and Madison tax payer backed $$$ are currently going to Balaton, MN.

    Ahem. The dictionary definition of Ponzi scheme is “a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.”

  18. Debbo 2019-06-29

    Trump Shrimp should be called Tru Scammers.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-07-01

    South Dakota money pouring back to Minnesota coffers? Governor Tim Walz should love that.

  20. happy camper 2019-07-01

    Speculative investments have a higher rate of return. You are rewarded for that risk IF THEY WORK OUT. The commitment is a loan not a gift. One in the hand is better than two in the bush same argument about taking the safer step when it’s the most reasonable thing to do. Biden not Sanders.

  21. Porter Lansing 2019-07-01

    Ps … Sanders can’t beat Trump, either.

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