Alabama is known for many things: cotton, steel, “The heart of Dixie”,: and quite possibly, in the near future…salt water shrimp!
Houghton graduate Dr. David Teichert-Coddington ’76, makes a living as a commercial shrimp farmer in Alabama, over 150 miles from the Gulf Coast. Dr. Coddington graduated from Houghton with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in chemistry. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in aquaculture and water quality from Auburn University in 1985.
From 1985 to 2000, Dr. Coddington was a research fellow and assistant professor at Auburn University, where he worked in research and extension of aquiaculture, both domestically and internationally, prior to becoming a manager and partner of Greene Prairie Aquafarm.
Greene Prairie Aquafarm was started in 2001 and is co-owned by Dr. David Teichert-Coddington, H. R. (Rud) Schmittou, and Thomas Schmittou. R. Schmittou and Teichert-Coddington were colleagues at Auburn University, where they worked with the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures and the International Center for Aquaculture and Aquatic Environments.
Greene Prairie uses sustainable farming methods by pumping brackish water into the ponds; the same techniques used to raise catfish are being used to raise shrimp. Greene Prairie is the first farm of its type in Alabama that is dedicated to shrimp. It is an inland farm with 17 ponds and over 54 total surface acres. The shrimp are raised without chemicals and are processed without preservatives.
Greene Prairie’s vision statement is; “to develop a commercial shrimp business that produces an all-natural, superior quality shrimp while demonstrating good stewardship of our environment. We want our business to be a good neighbor, and to serve as a catalyst for developing a new aquaculture industry in west Alabama.”
When asked how Houghton impacted his life, Dr Coddington said, “I learned to take faith seriously and work hard. It took me a few years to get my head on straight; I had several professors go out of their way to help me. Houghton is an excellent school, and I found that my graduate program at Auburn University was easy compared to Houghton. You really don’t realize the impact of Houghton until later in life, but it definitely shaped me for the future.”