Shrimp Farmer's Dream Comes True - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/26/03 - Nacogdoches County

Shrimp Farmer's Dream Comes True

by Donna McCollum

A successful business person often takes a risk and tries something no one else has ever done before. Nacogdoches County shrimp rancher Bruce Tentzer falls into this category.

"The Taste of Texas Shrimp Ranch began literally as a dream," said Tentzer as he walked out in rubber boots to show off his biggest shrimp.

Just like ranchers before him Tentzer has a pioneer spirit. So what if his herd is made of crustaceans.

Tentzer grabs a jumbo. "Pretty good size. White Pacific Shrimp. They have a wonderful, wonderful flavor. They are an ocean shrimp. I believe I'm the only one in Texas that knows how to acclimate them to freshwater."

Tentzer says a perfect pH balanced pond and specialized shrimp pellets make his shrimp taste better. "Normal shrimp eat whatever is dead and decaying on the bottom of the ocean. But these shrimp are fed only the healthiest and the best."

Last year Tentzer had an experimental herd of 350 pounds of shrimp. This year, Tentzer plans to roundup 3500 pounds of shrimp in two weeks by the light of a full moon. "The shrimp whenever there is a full moon think the tide is going out. It helps us in our harvesting if the moon is out because they'll go through a harvesting pipe rather than staying back where the water is shallower and shallower until they're stuck in the mud. So that's why shrimp farms harvest on a full moon."

Harvest Day will be marked down by Tentzer as a day when a dream came true. "I think having a dream, having a goal and not being afraid to take chances, I think goes a long way today and for that entrepreneurial spirit."

The Taste of Texas Shrimp Ranch Harvest Day is October 11 from 5am to Noon.

Jumbo shrimp are $7.00 a pound and they're sold in two and half pound increments only. On the morning of the harvest bring a cooler with ice.

You can reserve your order by calling 936-569-0015.

To get to The Taste of Texas ranch go 2.7 miles north on U.S. Highway 59 from Highway 259. Turn left on FM 2864. Travel 3.7 miles to County Road 124. The ranch is the fourth driveway on the left.

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