A Minnesota company has unveiled plans for a $50 million shrimp production operation in the state’s southwest region.

Balaton-based tru Shrimp said it plans to build its first production facility in Luverne, its first shrimp hatchery in Marshall, and a worker training facility in Balaton. The company also plans to renovate a vacant processing facility in Marshall to handle 8 million pounds of shrimp annually.

Groundbreaking is planned for early next year. CEO Michael Ziebell said in a company press release that raising shrimp in Minnesota makes sense because the feedstock for shrimp — corn, soybeans and hard red wheat — is here.

“Economically and environmentally it makes much more sense to raise shrimp near their food source than to ship feed to shrimp raised in coastal ponds thousands of miles from the U.S. market,” he said.

U.S. customers consume 1.6 billion pounds of shrimp annually, 80 percent of which comes from Southeast Asia, according to tru Shrimp. The company is an affiliate of Ralco, a Marshall, Minn., feed company.

Matt McKinney


High school teacher named greatest thinker

For arguing that the 2016 election has changed our perception of truth, a New York City teacher has been named America’s greatest thinker in the 25th annual Great American Think-Off.

Pamela Lewis of Elmhurst, Queens, taught high school and middle school French for 30 years. She is the daughter of British Guyanese immigrants.

Four finalists were selected based on essays they wrote addressing the question, “Has the 2016 election changed our perception of truth?” A debate among the finalists expanded on the question, and the winner was chosen by a vote of more than 250 attendees.

Sponsored by the Cultural Center of New York Mills, a rural farm and manufacturing town in west-central Minnesota, the Think-Off is an exhibition of civil disagreement between powerful ideas being explored by everyday people, designed to make philosophy accessible to all.

Founded in 1990, the Cultural Center is a rural center for creativity, community vitality and lifelong learning in the arts.



City puts the cork in Sunday liquor sales

Ely will not allow Sunday liquor sales when a new state law takes effect on July 1.

The Legislature this year passed a law that, for the first time ever, allows Sunday sales. But local governments can decide to restrict or ban Sunday liquor sales in their communities.

The Ely City Council discussed the issue at a meeting last month and decided to leave in place the city’s existing ban on Sunday sales, said deputy clerk Casey Velcheff. The city’s three off-sale liquor stores weren’t clamoring for the change, she said.