trū® Shrimp Breaks Ground on Largest Shrimp Facility in Midwest

The trū Shrimp Company announced today that it officially broke ground on a multi-million-dollar employee training center, the largest shrimp production facility in the Midwest. The primary purpose of Balaton Bay Reef Training and Engineering Center is to train employees for careers at larger production Harbors. The 40’- foot tall structure will house a Reef of eight 150’ – long stacked Tidal Basins that create a low-stress natural current for healthy and safe shrimp. The bio-secure facility will be the only of its kind in the world and can produce 65,000 lbs. of shrimp annually.

Construction of Balaton Bay Reef Training and Engineering Center is adjacent to the trū Shrimp Innovation Center and Laboratory, which has been in use for more than two years and is one of the most advanced shrimp research facilities. Ralco owner and Chairman of the Board for the trū Shrimp Company Brian Knochenmus said Balaton Bay Reef is an historic step forward for shrimp aquaculture.

“I am truly humbled when I think of the building that we break ground on today and the work that will be done here by people who care about providing safe food. Today is a landmark day for the trū Shrimp Company on so many levels. This is an historic day for Balaton, it’s an historic day for the state of Minnesota and this is an opportunity to change the world,” Knochenmus said. “I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard during the past years to make this a reality.”

The training center is scheduled to open early summer 2018, and will serve as a final engineering check to test trū Shrimp production technology prior to full-scale implementation in a production Harbor. A Harbor will employ about 70 people and almost all of them will receive training at Balaton Bay Reef. President of the trū Shrimp Company, Michael Ziebell, said the company will continue to push the boundaries of shrimp aquaculture.

“Ladies and gentlemen, nothing like Balaton Bay Reef exists anywhere in the world. We are on uncharted ground. It has been the vision of Brian and Jon and the entire Knochenmus family that has brought us to where we are today. We will continue to follow your vision. We want to make you and our investors proud of us,” Ziebell said.

The trū Shrimp Company will also break ground soon on a shrimp hatchery, and refurbish a USDA-approved processing facility. trū Shrimp is on track to begin construction of Luverne Bay Harbor, a large shrimp production facility in Luverne, Minn., during Spring 2018. The Harbor will produce 8.2 million lbs. of shrimp when fully operational.

The trū Shrimp Company is an affiliate of Ralco, a third-generation family owned multinational company with distribution in more than 20 countries. Ralco supports large segments of the livestock, poultry, aquaculture and crop industries. The trū Shrimp Company strives to supply the world with safe, natural and abundant shrimp.


Cutline: From left: trū Shrimp Operations Manager Robert Gervais, ISG Principal and Managing Partner Brian Gjerde, Ralco President and trū Shrimp Chairman of the Board Brian Knochenmus, Ralco President Emeritus Jon Knochenmus, trū Shrimp President Michael Ziebell, Miron Construction Vice President Daniel Voss and Kasey Holm of Heartland Mechanical Incorporated.


For more information about Ralco contact:
Ryan Wendland
330 3rd Street
Balaton, MN 56115
(507) 337-6819


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