Rock Valley, Iowa — A farmer from the Rock Valley area is trying his hand at a new kind of farming — shrimp farming.
Dalton Van Zanten and his wife Rachel run a shrimp growing operation right in the middle of Rock Valley. He tells us about his operation, called “Van Shrimp”.
He says the shrimp farm idea came from his dad, and after a little research, Dalton and Rachel got the ball rolling this summer. Van Zanten says they’re still really just getting started. He says it wouldn’t be possible without his wife.
He says after that he feeds the shrimp. He also says that right now they’re still ramping up their operation, and when he’s not at the shrimp farm, he also raises hogs.
According to Van Zanten, their shop is right behind the new gun shop in Rock Valley. He says it’s not right on the street, but if you take the alley behind Rick’s Electric, you’ll see their sign. Their address is 1512 Main Street.
Van Zanten says they are really still in the beginning stages of shrimp farming. He says that it takes about two years to get the good bacteria established in the tanks, which create the appropriate environment for raising shrimp. That means right now, they don’t have enough volume to sell the shrimp to grocery stores or meat markets. However, that is a long-term goal he says. But for right now, they’re selling shrimp directly to the public.
He says that it takes the shrimp from 120 to 140 days to mature. He says he’s selling shrimp now, and will have some more in a month to a month and a half. Eventually they hope to have a situation where they can sell shrimp continuously, but for right now there are waiting periods during which no shrimp are available. He says he sells shrimp at about 25 grams. He says that’s 20 to 25 shrimp in a pound.
By the way, Van Zanten says his favorite way to eat their shrimp is just boiled with the head and shell still on for extra flavor, and then just peel them and eat them. He says their shrimp is so sweet it doesn’t even need butter. But he says many people do like to dip them in melted butter too.
Van Zanten encourages people to check his Facebook page to stay up to date on when they are selling shrimp, and to call if you have any questions.
Click here for their Facebook page.
Van Shrimp’s phone number is (712) 470-1559.