County Hosts Shrimp Farming Franchise Forum

On March 23, Dorchester’s Economic Development Department hosted a meeting of 40 farmers for a presentation by Hurlock-based Marvesta Shrimp on the RDM Grower Program, a new franchise and production initiative the 10-year old company launched in partnership with Indiana-based RDM Aquaculture. Similar to Purdue’s poultry growers program, the new business model creates a network of shrimp farmer on the Eastern Shore. Led by Marvesta Shrimp CEO Guy Furman, attendees learned how the company would partner with poultry growers and farmers to create a network of 10-20 shrimp farms in the next 12 months. Furman pursued this model to significantly increase shrimp production to meet increased demand for high quality, sustainably farmed product in the Washington and Philadelphia seafood markets. The company sells direct to restaurants, supermarkets and distributors. “Since we are working with a smaller, less expensive, easier to use technology, there is now an opportunity for people to get into a new industry with a growing demand and make more money than with conventional agricultural products,” Furman explained, adding, “We hope this is the beginning of a new model in aquaculture and an economic boost for the entire region. The two-hour forum included a comprehensive presentation by Furman …

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