Nebraska Living E-Newsletter

Rural Living: Meet Grant Jones: a Surf and Turf Rancher

After graduation from UNL in 2014, Grant Jones returned to his family’s registered cattle and row crop operation. Upon his return, he was looking for a way to diversify, something to call his own. As Grant explored his options, he stumbled upon shrimp and ultimately dove headfirst into raising the small crustacean inside a barn. Learn what it is like to raise shrimp in the only triply landlocked state in the nation!

What does a day in the shrimp barn look like?

“First thing in the morning, I get the lights turned on and start the day for the shrimp. Check tanks, test water, then from there make the feed and water adjustments necessary. Also, I net the shrimp, inspecting them, seeing what is going on and how they are growing. Shrimp actually give you signs when they are stressed, so watching for those things. I am looking for excess feed in the bottom of their tanks, if the shrimp have molted, things like that.”

What is the life cycle of a shrimp?

“I get shrimp shipped in (they fly Southwest) in their post larvae stage. They are about 8-12 days past their larval stage, and they weigh anywhere from 0.003- 0.005 grams, teeny-tiny, almost microscopic when they first arrive. Once they get here, I will run them in the nursery tank for 30-45 days. After that, they will have about 90 days in the regular tank, and they will be ready to go. They will be 20 grams or bigger when they are ready to harvest. It is about a four-month process from start to finish.”

How do you harvest shrimp?

“I start by draining some of the water out and putting it in the holding tank. Once I get the shrimp out, they go on an ice bath, and they are packaged from there, either fresh or frozen for later distribution.”

How did you land on shrimp?

“When I moved home in 2014 after graduation, I wanted to diversify our operation. I looked into chickens. I hate chickens. So, we kept looking. I ran into an article in 2017 about turning old hog barns into shrimp barns. From there, we just ran with it. In three years, we got a building up and running full of shrimp. Three years after that, today, we are looking to expand!”

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