Local News

Johnston Tobacco Farmer Turns To 'Aquaculture'

Posted September 30, 2004 5:23 a.m. EDT

— Some struggling tobacco farmers are looking for new ways to net a profit.

Johnny Barbee, of Johnston County, is one of the first in North Carolina to produce freshwater shrimp.

"They taste a lot better to me. They haven't got that grit taste like the saltwater does," he said.

Barbee decided to try shrimp because tobacco alone was not paying the bills.

"We just didn't have the income there. We needed to look at a different way to bring more money in," he said.

Barbee and his business partner, Gene Wiseman, built two large ponds less than a year ago and they are already seeing big results. They will try to sell the shrimp for the first time this weekend.