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Tru Shrimp: Madison Building Delayed by Expansion of Plans and Underestimation of Costs

Those 42 laid-off Gehl workers could get jobs building Tru Shrimp’s new Madison plant… if Tru Shrimp had the money to start building.

The Madison Daily Leader is giving the Minnesota shrimper three whole articles to explain why it didn’t start building in Madison in June the way it promised when our state started handing out money. Funny thing is, Tru Shrimp is has the money it thought it would need… but they need to raise more because their plans and cost estimates have grown:

…Initially, a commercial harbor was expected to cost $45 million.

To date, more than $45 million has been invested in research and development alone, including $11 million for the Balaton Bay Reef, according to Ziebell. The results of these efforts has increased the price tag.

“The sophistication of the technology grew over the years,” he explained. “As those sophistications were added, the price tag grew.”

In addition, the original engineer’s estimates were “significantly low,” and the scale of the project has increased, Ziebell said. Initially, Tru Shrimp planned to harvest 4.5 million pounds of shrimp annually; that has been increased to 8 million pounds annually [Mary Gales Askren, “Tru Shrimp Is Committed to Building Madison Bay Harbor,” Madison Daily Leader, 2019.07.30].

Plans may change, initial estimates may come in low… but that would seem to give Tru Shrimp all the more reason to save its cash and not spend South Dakota’s corporate welfare checks in Minnesota….


  1. jerry 2019-08-01 16:41

    America is fast becoming a banana republic, with South Dakota leading the way. Any time you have republican leadership, you get this corruption. Where’s Joop in all of this? Where’s Rounds?

  2. Debbo 2019-08-01 17:36

    Yeah, and there’s that bridge for sale in Death Valley too.

  3. Robert McTaggart 2019-08-01 18:55

    Either they are investing in new ways to prepare them…(see Forrest Gump) or the shrimp are getting smarter and it is harder to catch them now….

  4. Dale Moerke 2019-08-02 00:37

    Wow, I just read part two and Ziebell is pointing fingers at everybody else while the problem has been their inability to raise the necessary capital. I hope the Madison Daily Leader takes the time in part three to examine what others have written and take the time to talk to Minnesota officials. Ziebell and gang were cutting a deal with Gov Daugaard while at the same time telling Luverne city officials they were committed to building a harbor in Luverne. #SSDD As long as cities and states continue to pimp themselves out to business, guys like Ziebell will continue to get a paycheck.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-08-02 06:11

    Tru Shrimp does sound like it’s stringing us along. When one promise falls through, make an even bigger promise—very Trumpy.

  6. Rose Grant 2019-08-02 06:28

    So as the citizen taxpayer, who do we make it out to? VERY tired of SD wasting big money on this pie in the sky crap and not doing anything for existing businesses or to retain the best of our youth.

  7. Eve Fisher 2019-08-02 13:03

    Tru Shrimp is doing an excellent job of ignoring the fact that millions of South Dakota, Lake County, and Madison tax payer backed $$$ are currently going to their “research and development center” in Balaton, MN. And I’m still trying to find out how much Luverne put in Tru Shrimp’s pockets before they moved on to Madison. I’ve been told that the Tru Shrimp folks are “very sincere”, and all I could say was, “The first gift a conman gets is the gift of being very sincere.”

    Here’s a repeat link to my blog about it yesterday:

    BTW, very interesting is that the last of the 3-part series in the Madison Daily Leader is NOT available on line.

  8. Allyson Nagel 2019-08-02 14:06

    Let’s see… What’s better for South Dakota… shrimp or hemp? Good grief.

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