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Greene Prairie Aquafarm is an American success story. Dr. David Teichert-Coddington envisioned a saltwater shrimp farm in Greene County, and set out to make that dream come true.

"I had done some Extension (Service) work in West Alabama with Auburn University," said Teichert-Coddington. "I had always wanted to farm and was interested in saltwater shrimp. When I found out there is saltwater in this area - which comes from an aquifer and has enough salinity to grow shrimp in - my business partner bought the land and we constructed the ponds."

Of course, a critical piece of the equation for starting a business is venture capital, and that's where Robertson Banking Company entered the picture.

"We went to some other institutions, and most of them gave us a kind of cool reception," he said. "Robertson Bank received us a lot more professionally than some of the others, and they basically gave us a chance."

The rest, as they say, is history.

Greene Prairie Aquafarm sells saltwater shrimp fresh from the pond and frozen year-round, but most of its business is with the whole food market in the U.S. and Canada.

Teichert-Coddington takes pride in not only the business' success, but its stewardship as well.

"We do not use chemicals on the farm or in the water," he said, "and we recycle the water in the ponds. We try to be environmentally responsible."

Teichert-Coddington said Robertson Banking Company has been with him and his business every step of the way. "We had loans with them for at least nine years, and after we paid the loans off, they remained our friends," he said. "In fact, Pete (Reynolds) is not just my banker, he's my neighbor as well. You couldn't ask for a better relationship. They don't hassle us; they just take care of us."

 

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