Shrimp farm shows progress

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Some would think it impossible to raise salt-water shrimp 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

They’d be wrong.

At Jackson-Bay Boy Farms in Mosses (Lowndes County), Lee Jackson recently held one of his harvests of jumbo shrimp.

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Last week, a group of students from C.H.A.T. Academy in Selma were on hand to witness the event – and get a taste of some boiled shrimp.

Jesse Chappell, assistant professor at Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension Fisheries specialist, said the harvest looked like it would be a good yield – with good size shrimp.

Jackson’s father, Lee Earnest Jackson, discovered the salt water back in the 1950s when he worked to develop a water system for the community.

Jackson said he was pleased with this year’s crop.

“We’re pleased with meeting our goal,” Jackson said. “Now is the time of year we sell shrimp fresh. We’ll hold out enough to provide to people who like to come buy them fresh out of the pond.”

Jackson’s operation provides an opportunity to create jobs, he says.

Jackson is one of five shrimp growers in the state and is making his sixth harvest of jumbo shrimp.

Shrimp production this year will be 400,000 pounds on 80 acres of ponds, which will create $920,000 in revenue, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

The students who visited Jackson-Bay Boy Farms were introduced to the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that the Black Belt needs to be progressive and competitive in the marketplace.