BURGIN - Northpoint Training Center inmates dug their way through solid rock - as officials watched approvingly. That's because the inmates were digging ponds on the prison farm to begin raising shrimp.
Inmates are helping develop an expanding market for Kentucky aquaculture, said Richie Farmer, state agriculture commissioner.
"Many state agencies, universities, businesses, and charities cooperated on this project," Farmer said. "This shows how different sectors of government, education, business and non-profit organizations can work together to create a winning situation all around."
The inmates, supervised by officials from the Department of Agriculture and the Corrections Cabinet, received technical advice from Dr. Jim Tidwell of Kentucky State University's nationally pacesetting aquaculture program.
A pond-side sale may be held the last week in September.
Jason Danaher of KSU supervised the stocking of the ponds with shrimp (actually freshwater prawns).
Tilapia, "filter-feeding" fish, were added to the ponds based on KSU research that indicates the two species grow better when raised together, said Angela Caporelli, KDA aquaculture marketing specialist.