Press "Enter" to skip to content

State Gives Royal Canin $4M Subsidy to Make More Pet Food in North Sioux City, Boosting Buyer for Tru Shrimp Waste?

Yesterday I read the prospectus Tru Shrimp sent the Securities and Exchange Commission and learned that the Minnesota company says it will run out of operating cash by this fall unless lots of people buy stock in its first initial public offering or other loans or government grants come its way. I also noticed that, if Tru Shrimp can ever build its proposed shrimp vats in Madison, it plans to make more than half of its money selling chitosan from ground shrimp exoskeleton for biomedical and pharmaceutical research, another third on actual eatin’ shrimp, and just 8% on waste shrimp for pet food.

Perhaps entirely coincidentally, on Thursday, a couple days after Tru Shrimp announced its IPO intent, Governor Noem announced nearly $4 million in new corporate welfare to help a pet food maker expand in North Sioux City:

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced that global leader in pet health nutrition, Royal Canin, will invest $185 million for new production lines at their facility in North Sioux City. This investment would expand their existing building and create 149 new, full-time associate jobs, adding to the more than 380 current positions.

“I applaud Royal Canin’s continued investment in North Sioux City with this expansion,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We are proud to provide a business climate that can help companies like Royal Canin grow and succeed.”

To support this investment GOED has awarded the company a $3,950,145 RPP (Reinvestment Payment Program) grant. The grant funding was approved by the Board of Economic Development [link added; Governor’s Office of Economic Development, press release, 2022.01.20].

So maybe, just maybe, the state is putting a little more money into a pet food factory so that maybe, just maybe, if our friends from Minnesota ever start pulling shrimp out of Lake Madison (or artificial ponds in sight of those glistening shores), they’ll have a nearby buyer for their third-tier waste product.


  1. Porter Lansing 2022-01-24 19:16

    Well done GOED. People feed their pets more expensive food than they feed their kids and themselves. True, kids and Cory are picky eaters and pets are very appreciative of good food. The rewards are higher with cats and dogs.

  2. DaveFN 2022-01-24 21:29

    Massive hype around the virtues of chitosan, a polysaccharide second only in significance to cellulose. The greater the hype, the greater the investment in this polymer, hence all the hype.

  3. jerry 2022-01-24 23:34

    A Mars company (40 Billion in 2020) should be able to go it on their own without South Dakota’s 4 million.

    We are a poor state that could certainly use that money to help our citizens statewide.

    I hope that Royal Canin has even greater success in their venture and I hope that Madison will make a breakthrough with the development of the shrimp idea.

    4 million to a multi billion dollar a year private company, millions for a not needed shooting range and millions more to desecrate one of the true wonders of our state, The Wildlife Loop, makes no sense when so many have so little of their needs met. We must do better for all.

  4. mike from iowa 2022-01-25 00:41

    No guarantees Tru Shrimp will produce a single shrimp or ounce of waste product for an expanded pet food maker. More corporate handouts with nothing in writing to validate the freebies. Typical magat way of welfaring those least in need of welfare.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-01-25 05:42

    Good point, Jerry. France-based Royal Canin has factories in several countries, including Poland, Russia, Brazil South Africa, and Argentina. Their execs probably spend $4M a year just flying around checking up on operations on different continents. I wonder if they get subsidies for their factories elsewhere.

    They say they are expanding the North Sioux City plant to respond to increased demand created by folks buying pets during the pandemic. If they have this clear economic case for expanding production, why do they need any government assistance?

  6. sx123 2022-01-25 07:00


    Free money flying around everywhere.

  7. WillyNilly 2022-01-25 07:22

    The pet population has exploded since many people decided they don’t want kids. And that takes a lot of pet food so I have been wondering just where and how the ingredients are sourced. Especially after some pet foods caused health problems and deaths. Waste shrimp, huh….

  8. Porter Lansing 2022-01-25 13:59

    There was a Ralston Purina pet food factory in North Denver when I moved here. Stunk like the Dickens for about a five-mile radius, on some days. Not as much as a CAFO hogger farm smells but really bad. So much that the city fined it heavily and they shut down and moved elsewhere.
    Anybody politically famous live in North Sioux City?

  9. Jake 2022-01-25 17:57

    Can anyone think of a better reason for a company to move to South Dakota than to get loaded up on ‘Biden-bucks’ so freely given to business but not being given to Medicaid and education? Like other Republican governors, Noem will soon be bragging about how much money she has put into infractructure and all the internet expansion, roads and bridges, highways, lead pipes eary Childwelfare and thw long list of Democratic passed funding that she and her party were all against and voted so! Hypocrites all.

  10. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-01-25 18:49

    I’m displaying my narrowmindness and provincialism. Hello, Porter Lansing, I drove by the RP factory frequently, but it wasn’t the worst thing I ever smelled.
    I don’t give two hoots in hell about our “law makers” pimping out millions or billions of tax dollars to shrimp farming because there’s nothing we can do to prevent it in South Dakota.
    Frankly, shrimp taste and smell like swamp, river, lagoon, and tidal pool bottoms. So,what’s the attraction here, people? Do y’all eat it because it’s a luxury food?
    Last time I was in Texas (2005) Brown people were catching, cleaning, and processing shrimp. Guess who’s gonna do the same in North Sioux City.

  11. mike from iowa 2022-01-25 19:24

    cathy, thanks for that link. Interesting story.Bet Noem would not give a damn because the victims had brown skin and their forced labor ensures more profits for Noem’s likely campaign contributors.

  12. grudznick 2022-01-25 19:28

    And that, Ms. Fairbank, is why Woolly’s doesn’t serve shrimps. I have heard tell when they re-open in a few months they are considering it, however.

  13. DaveFN 2022-01-25 20:07

    Considering that chitosan is no more digestible than non-digestible cellulose, the filler in pet foods might as well be sawdust, questionable claims of how chitosan binds phosphorus and thus leads to better renal function aside.

  14. jerry 2022-01-25 21:46

    I would like the 4 million to go to put South Dakota on the map for something real. Real like this

    “LANSING, Mich. — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) announced today an investment of more than $7 billion in four Michigan manufacturing sites, creating 4,000 new jobs and retaining 1,000, and significantly increasing battery cell and electric truck manufacturing capacity. This is the single largest investment announcement in GM history. The investment includes construction of a new Ultium Cells battery cell plant in Lansing and the conversion of GM’s assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan for production of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the electric GMC Sierra, GM’s second assembly plant scheduled to build full-size electric pickups.”

    Joe Biden’s plans are working!!

  15. jerry 2022-01-25 21:48

    Ruh oh cathy, that will make NOem push it further as the hack she is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.