SULPHUR, Ky. — The Faul Family Riverside Farm in Sulphur, Kentucky isn’t your typical farmstead. Actually, Andre Faul Jr. has something nearly no other farm in Kentucky has: Saltwater shrimp.
What You Need To Know
- Faul Family Riverside Farm is home to nearly 30,000 saltwater shrimp at full production
- Andre Faul Jr. uses his background in marine fish farming at his 100-acre farm
- Faul partnered with Kentucky State University to get ideas about saltwater shrimp tanks
- The insulated building is kept at 72 degrees
His shrimp help him feel connected to the ocean while living in landlocked Kentucky.
“I guess in some way it connects you with the ocean, being able to raise seafood in a landlocked state,” Faul said. “It's a unique opportunity and I'm grateful to be able to do it.”
With a background in marine fish farming, Andre Faul Jr. wanted to incorporate his passion of aquaculture on his 100-acre farm. That’s when Faul partnered with Kentucky State University and started his saltwater shrimp journey.
“They had been working with some other farmers who had built systems similar to this,” Faul said. “So with all of that experience combined, I was able to eliminate a lot of the trial and error period and just build something that works.”
Each morning, Faul closely monitors the shrimp and the water they swim in.
“I look for any signs of disease or anything like that, these guys all look good,” Faul said. "I look at their gills that sit right behind their head to see if there's any issues with ammonia toxicity.”
Faul’s secret to success? A mixture of salts into the system to replicate seawater.
“The way we do it is much more cost effective by mixing our own salt, we just buy the salt in bulk from a company and then we mix it ourselves and it works just as well as the premixed stuff that you can buy,” Faul said.
He keeps his insulated building at 72 degrees and the nearly 5,000 shrimp in the six above ground swimming pools at 83 degrees.
“This was our first winter trying to heat this building and make sure the insulation works properly. We have a wood pellet stove that heats the actual building and then we have a water heater that heats the water in the tanks," Faul said. "A combination of those two keeps the shrimp nice and warm.”
The Faul Family Riverside Farm offers pick up orders at the farm or at the LaGrange Farmers Market. Faul said at full capacity, he takes care of nearly 30,000 saltwater shrimp.