WE HOST BUSINESS & TECH-FOCUSED CROP-AGNOSTIC INDOOR AGRICULTURE EVENTS
Shawn Woods GoodLeaf Farms

Canada’s Largest Commercial Vertical Farm | Q&A With GoodLeaf Farms’ Shawn Woods

GoodLeaf FarmsWhat started in 2011 as a dream to deliver fresh, nutritious produce to Canadians year-round has become reality. As Canada’s first and largest commercial vertical farming operation, GoodLeaf Farms began supplying microgreens and baby greens to retail locations and restaurants throughout Ontario in 2019.

Indoor Ag-Con is excited to kick off our 2022 Indoor Ag-Conversations webinar series on June 1, 2022 at 2:30 pm ET with the idea-packed case study session , “A Dream Becomes Reality” with GoodLeaf Farm Manager Shawn Woods and equipment partners from Signify & Montel.  Ahead of the webinar, we had the chance to catch up with Shawn to learn a little more about how GoodLeaf is delivering on its mission and what’s next for the growing company.

 What are you growing at your Guelph, Ontario operation, and, what differentiates GoodLeaf from other vertical farms in the marketplace

GoodLeaf FarmsWe are currently growing microgreens  — Spicy Mustard Medley, Pea Shoots, Asian Blend, Micro Arugula, Micro Radish, and Micro Broccoli —  and baby greens – Ontario Arugula, Ontario Spring Mix and Ontario Baby Spinach.

In terms of what sets us apart, we are Canada’s largest commercial vertical farm, and the only one with scale to supply the major grocery chains with safe, fresh, and healthy greens. We lead the industry in Food Safety with SQF Level 2 Certification and a positive release program, which  means that we test every harvest for pathogens and only release them once they have been cleared by our internal lab

In addition, our proprietary technology enables us to grow nutrient-dense local food that is environmentally conscious 365 days a year.

From Day One, our focus has been on growing healthy, tasty food that people want to eat. We use our technology to grow food, while others use technology to collect data.

 

Sustainability is a key part of your mission. Can you share some of GoodLeaf’s sustainable practices and initiatives?

GoodLeaf Farms Sustainable PracticesOur sustainable practices include:

  • Water use in vertical farming is 95 per cent less than traditional farming methods.
  • More food can be grown per acre, maximizing use of space, and limiting land use.
  • Because our farm is indoors in an environment that is almost entirely controlled, there are no pests, bugs, or birds — and thus no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are used.
  • The water used is cleaned and recirculated, so there are no run-off issues.
  • Peat / Soil is recycled and re-used in landscaping.
  • Favorable carbon footprint compared to traditional farming.
  • By providing a local food source, we are removing thousands of food miles annually; Leafy greens coming from the southwestern United States are trucked across the continent, burning fossil fuels the whole way.

 

Last year, GoodLeaf announced an aggressive growth and expansion plan to build a national network of vertical farms.   Can you share updates, including progress on the Calgary project?

GoodLeaf FarmsConstruction on our Calgary farm is well under way. We are on schedule to have the 95,000-square-foot farm open and providing fresh leafy greens to grocery stores across Western Canada in first half of next year.

We are continuing to move forward with our plans for a similar facility in the Montreal area but are not able to provide additional information at this time.   

 

GoodLeaf is working on a number of R&D projects with universities to advance the science & engineering of vertical farming.  Can you tell us about any of the projects currently underway?

We have an MoU with the University of Guelph to build stronger links between theoretical research, the development of technology and processes and practical application in the field.

Some of the best and most innovative agricultural research in Canada happens at the University of Guelph. Building on the vertical farm technology we have already developed and are using; it will be exciting to see where this partnership can take us.

Some of the projects currently under way with the University of Guelph include research into:

  • Enhancing yields, plant science and new product development.
  • Substrates, growing compounds, and microbiology.
  • Human resources and training future experts in the field of vertical farming.

 

What’s next for GoodLeaf ?

GoodLeaf FarmsWe are constantly innovating and experimenting with new processes and products to bring the best possible leafy greens to Canadian consumers.

Efforts continue to build partnerships with grocery retailers across Canada, and we are aggressively pursuing growth into the restaurant and hospitality sector. Chefs can do wondrous things with our leafy greens, and we are excited to see where this journey will take us.

While Canada is our priority today, we can’t wait to bring our greens to consumers across the globe

What’s more, we are excited about other opportunities for vertical farming to add value — expanding the portfolio beyond leafy greens or growing specialty crops for healthcare

 

To learn more about GoodLeaf Farms, visit the website at www.goodleaffarms.com  and check out this video that takes you through a quick tour of GoodLeaf’s seeding and grow rooms, harvesting and packaging:

 

Controlled Environment Agriculture Is The Future of Food

Imagine Farms Cheryl & Lisa
Imagine Farms Sisters and Co-Founders Lisa Merkle & Cheryl Arnold

Indoor AgCon 2022 was full of inspiring and informative sessions and speakers. The main takeaway: Controlled Environment Agriculture is the future of food. Growing food in a controlled environment provides a stable and dependable framework that is currently missing in our food supply chain. The ability to grow food 365 days a year regardless of season or location without pesticides or harsh chemicals is revolutionary. 

I was invited to speak on a panel discussion about shipping container farms and represent Imagine Farms, which is funny because we don’t identify as a shipping container farm although we use shipping containers as the building blocks of our system. 

We differentiate ourselves from Shipping Container Farm businesses (Freight Farms, Crop Box, etc.)  as we are not in the business of building and selling turnkey systems.

Rather, we worked with a designer to build our system, using the insulated shipping containers as a shell.  Currently, we use the shipping containers as grow rooms and adjacent functional spaces (walk in cooler, pack room, nursery). At this time, we have 8 rooms dedicated to Leafy Greens and Petite Root vegetable production and 2 rooms dedicated to Mushrooms.

Imagine FarmsThis process has inspired our vision to build a large scale production farm with groups of grow rooms that work together to grow a variety of crops under one roof – this might mean a warehouse farm with grow rooms built out and/or continuing to utilize shipping containers for this purpose (indoor or outdoors – or a combo of both). We are in the early stages of raising a Series A to build 15-20 grow rooms under one room with the addition of automation to begin to fulfill the demand in South Florida.  

Cheryl and I started in one shipping container farm that we built ourselves (with the designer) – and did it all ourselves for the first 2 years – we acquired hands-on experience growing as well as all the different aspects involved with growing and distributing food; integrated technology, tested different crops, sales, marketing, distribution, accounting, packaging, food safety, etc. Most importantly, we were able to test the market which is the framework for building the business.  

When we started Imagine Farms we appreciated the positive attributes that come with growing in a controlled environment; significant decrease in water usage when compared to field farming, growing without pesticides, and the positive aspects of ‘farm to table’ as a service. Now, it is evident that natural resources are scarce – specifically water, arable farmland and access to minerals for fertilizer.

We are facing a grain shortage that will drive up the cost of basic food and other commodities because of the war in Ukraine, while our physical resilience and mental health depend on access to fresh, healthy food. The more intelligent, motivated and passionate individuals exposed to the industry, the better. Shipping container farms placed in schools, universities, public programs and start-ups might be the greatest vehicle to accelerate this industry. 

Learn more about Imagine Farms by visiting their website or calling 844.204.0002.

Indoor Ag-Con Q&A With Eric Levesque Cultivatd

For Farmers. By Farmers. Q & A With Cultivatd Managing Partner Eric Levesque

Cultivatd LogoFor farmers. By farmers. That’s how Cultivatd, the Cornwall Ontario-based indoor farm brokerage, describes its dedicated team of experts and the services they provide. Founded in 2020 by agtech industry veterans Eric Levesque and Eric Bergeron, this startup helps clients get into the vertical farming space by guiding them through the process of selecting the best technology for their needs, and recommending the best solution depending on budget, type of growing, location and knowledge.

With more 40 partnerships with some of the controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry’s biggest technology providers, Cultivatd has over $250 million in active projects in its portfolio and expects that number to increase substantially this year. Indoor Ag-Con had a chance to check in with Eric Levesque to learn more about his company’s service offerings, growth plans and ag tech trends in this month’s  Q&A.

As an Indoor Farm Broker, Cultivatd says it can help farmers by providing agtech solutions and farm planning at no cost. How does that work and what are the advantages?

Our service offering is quite simple; we help people understand which technology is best suited for what they are trying to do. Our team will work with clients and based on the type of plants to grow, the budget, the location etc, we will recommend different technologies as a solution. We have experience as growers, technology developers and have operated farms, so our team really gives clients a deep understanding of what is involved in growing food indoors. There is no cost because we earn a commission when a farm project comes together.

How does Cultivatd choose its partners?

Cultivatd Partners
Cultivatd partners with leading agtech companies. Click image above to learn more.

We don’t have an exact process here, although we tend to work with companies that we know have a solid reputation, good people, have detailed financials models and typically we like to go and see the technology working somewhere so we can vet it for ourselves. We also spend a great deal of time and effort building relationships with the people at our technology partners. It is important for us to have real, in depth knowledge of the teams behind the products we represent.

Is there new tech on the horizon that has you particularly excited about the future of agtech?

There are several – but mainly – we are excited to see new technology that allows different products to be grown indoors such as mushrooms, potatoes, animal feed, and even insects etc. The amount of food we are going to need to grow in controlled environments is massive and it has to extend far beyond leafy greens and herbs.

At the end of 2021 Cultivatd announced it had raised more than $3 million in a series A round. Can you share more about how you’re using/will be using these funds?

CultivatdThis was mainly to help us grow a team, open two new offices (Hello Austin!) and to market ourselves in the industry. We are also aware that large farming projects can take months to get going, so we also have some operating capital to ensure we are able to grow for years to come.

We have to ask, what is the story behind the name/spelling of your company?

We were looking for a modern name that fit the industry and this option really stood out to us when we went through our branding exercise. We really wanted a .com domain name so had to be a bit creative on spelling.

To learn more about Cultivatd and its service offerings, visit the website or call 1.877.258.8283.

Indoor Ag-Con Event Partner Tech 4.0

CEA 4.0 | Accelerating the Development, Advancement & Efficiency of Indoor Farming

Indoor Ag-Con is proud to be an event partner for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) 4.0, the virtual event focusing on accelerating the development, advancement and efficiency of indoor farming.  This year the event runs over 2 days —  Friday, May 6 and Friday, May 20, 2022.

“This edition of CEA 4.0 will focus on the current evolution of the indoor farming industry to explore how policy is developing with its integration into the sector, how we are helping to drive the circular economy forward, sustainability, integration into traditional food systems, and learning how this is being done from an international perspective. From a technological aspect we will be focusing on seeds and their development, TCEA, grow light solutions, resource efficiencies, automation, energy usage and requirements, innovations in research and technologies, and robotics & AI,” according to Jonathan Martin, director, Tech 4.0.

As part of our event partnership, our Indoor Ag-Con audience is invited  to take advantage of a special VIP upgrade.  You can register for the current lowest price of £4.99 and you’ll be  upgraded manually to a VIP attendee which includes:

  • Full conference & event access provided for the entire event
  • Instant messaging and 1-1 video networking with any attendee
  • Ability to arrange 1-1 video meetings with any attendee
  • Access to recordings of event presentations
  • Customizable company & attendee profiles with various multimedia content options
  • Associated event company branding

Learn more & register at   https://www.tickettailor.com/events/jonathanmartin/535203

Unfold Announces Innovation Partner Program at Indoor Ag-Con

Program enables vertical farm leaders to collaborate and spur industry innovation

DAVIS, CA, Feb. 28, 2022 Unfold, a company that combines leading seed genetics with crop growing and agronomic expertise to advance the vertical farming industry, today announced the launch of its Innovation Partner Program. The program provides vertical farm leaders with access to Unfold’s leading plant biology expertise, digital tools and germplasm. Through industry collaborations, Unfold aims to address the challenges vertical farm operators face today while unlocking new sources of value.

Since launching in 2020, Unfold has been 100% dedicated to the indoor agriculture community, and has worked closely with industry leaders to improve operational efficiencies and create value for vertical farms through new seed varieties. In the past, seed offerings were not optimized for indoor growing conditions-with their precise environmental controls and specialized lighting – and therefore did not create an optimal end-product. Seeds developed specifically for indoor agriculture could help vertical farms reduce production costs by cutting down on time to harvest, for example, which in turn could reduce energy consumption levels thus improving on the cost of goods. Improved genetic offerings could also provide improved quality of the end produce, thus providing vegetables with broad consumer appeal. Working alongside industry leaders, Unfold will leverage its expertise in plant biology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to develop and launch products that improve our global food system.

“Through the Innovation Partner Program, we are looking to partner with industry leaders who see the value and opportunities that can come from R&D collaborations,” said John Purcell, CEO and President of Unfold. “As we continue to scale our business, we believe these deeper relationships will drive product innovation and solutions that will have tremendous value for our customers and the industry as a whole.”

The Innovation Partner Program illustrates how Unfold is making progress on establishing the long-term relationships necessary to be an important solutions provider globally and to further the indoor farming industry.

Trialing is already underway with multiple partners across three continents, and initial data is showing promising results, including the identification of multiple new varieties. As trialing continues, Unfold expects data sharing to accelerate time to market for new innovations at indoor farms.

“Seed genetics, plant science, data and digital solutions play a large role in bringing vertical farming mainstream,” said David Nothmann, Chief Operating Officer of Unfold. “That is why we are proud to work alongside the world’s vertical farm leaders to grow produce indoors more efficiently and most cost-effectively through our offering of premium seeds and agronomic insights.”

To learn more about our Innovation Partner Program please contact info@unfold.ag

About Unfold

Unfold is accelerating the “seed to table” capabilities of vertical farming with an integrated offering of superior seeds, digital services, and agronomic insight. Based in Davis, California, Unfold’s mission is to create a world where the freshest, most nutritious, and most delicious produce is available to every person on the planet. For additional information about Unfold or to hear about potential career opportunities, please visit our website at https://unfold.ag/.

Press Contact

Andrea Judson-Torres unfold@highwirepr.com

NY Sunworks at INdoor Ag-con

NY Sun Works – Supporting the Next Generation of Urban Farmers and Innovators

NY SunworksFor more than 10 years, NY Sun Works, a NYC-based non-profit organization, has used hydroponic technology to teach K-12th grade students about science and sustainability. Their first hydroponic farm-classroom opened in 2010 at a Manhattan public school.  Since then, they’ve grown to nearly 200 schools across the five boroughs of NYC and metro NJ, enabling over 65,000 students in 2021 alone to learn biology, ecology, chemistry and environmental science concepts – all while growing fresh produce to share with their families and school community.

To date, NY Sun Works has installed more than 700 hydroponic systems in school farm-classrooms and greenhouses.  And this number is growing quickly as the non-profit is set to build at least one new hydroponic classroom every week through 2022 – and demand for the program is only growing.  Students plant and grow a wide variety of crops, not only exposing them to critical hands-on science and sustainability topics, but also to new and nutritious vegetables and herbs. As students bring their harvest home to families, they share with them how delicious and fresh vegetables can be when they are grown hydroponically and eaten soon after harvest.

Now, NY Sun Works is introducing its new high school career readiness program in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Recognizing the need for high school students to have direct-to-work options – and the growth of indoor farming as a green industry in NYC and other urban areas – the program provides high school students with marketable technical skills to enter the job market directly after graduation or to continue with further training in a post-secondary academic program.  The program launched in 3 Brooklyn high schools in the 2021-22 school year with pilot funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will expand to other schools and boroughs next year.

This is an exciting time for urban farmers in NYC, and NY Sun Works has been a key driver of new growth and development in this sector. Last fall, NY Sun Works Executive Director Manuela Zamora was appointed to Eric Adams’ Food Policy Transition Team where she worked alongside industry leaders and community farmers to develop plans for the administration to help grow urban agriculture in NYC. As then-Brooklyn Borough President, Mayor Adams stated in 2021, “Urban agriculture has the potential to revolutionize our urban landscape and play a significant role in an equitable recovery process…Programs such as NY Sun Works give high school students technical skills required in the emerging agricultural industry…We should seek to scale this up further.”

NY Sun Works is excited to launch this innovative career readiness program and to help build a greener NYC.  For more on our CEA certification program and to learn more about NY Sun Works, please contact: Megan Nordgrén, Director of Program Development: megan@nysunworks.org.

 Join Sidsel Robards, Co-Founder, the Greenhouse Project, NY Sunworks for our Indoor Ag-Con 2022 Panel: Cultivating The Workforce Pipeline: Educating the Next Gen Farmers.  Learn more & register today

Matt Ryan Soli Organic

Organic, Sustainable, Affordable, Accessible: Q&A With Soli Organic CEO Matt Ryan

Soli OrganicIndoor Ag-Con is excited to announce that Soli Organic CEO Matt Ryan has joined our CEO keynote line-up for the February 28-March 1, 2022 edition of Indoor Ag-Con. During his keynote presentation on March 1, 2022, 8 – 8:50 AM, Matt Ryan will share more about his company’s plans to change the world of organic produce by “Bringing Nature Indoors”™ with its soil-based, certified organic biofarms.

Soli Organic, formerly known as Shenandoah Growers, Inc., is the nation’s only soil-based, controlled environment agriculture company delivering 100% USDA certified organic produce to more than 20,000 retail stores nationwide We checked in with Matt ahead of his keynote to learn more about the company’s latest developments and plans for future growth in this month’s CEO Q&A.

Soli Organic
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Given your proven leadership background in branding /marketing with companies like Starbucks and Walt Disney, how did your outside perspective come into play with the Soli rebranding and what do you hope to accomplish with the new branding?

I’m very grateful for the incredible experiences I’ve had leading up to this point in my career and the lessons I’ve learned at each stop proved to be valuable as we went through our re-branding process in 2021. The new branding is a reflection of Soli Organic’s commitment to growing indoors, in real soil, and we’re aiming to convey to consumers the company’s vision to produce fresh products that are organic, sustainable, affordable and accessible to all.

Soli Organic 3Congratulations on the recent news about the $120 financing arrangement with The Decennial Group.  How does this play into your growth plans?

This is a very exciting time for Soli Organic as we continue on a track of accelerating growth to build on our company’s 30-plus year history of strong financial performance. The arrangement with Decennial – one of the largest of its kind for a controlled environment agriculture company – will help to support that growth, providing financing for three new indoor Biofarm facilities that will enable us to continue to scale the growth of our operations and meet the growing demand for fresh, sustainably-grown, organic produce that is affordable.

 

Soli OrganicSpeaking of news, can you also share a little more about the new partnership between Soli Organic and Rutgers University and how you will be working with its plant breeding experts?

Over the next five years, we’ll be working with the world-leading plant breeding experts at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences to select and advance the next generation of commercial organic, indoor-grown produce. Specifically, we’ll be analyzing the chemistry of new crop lines to optimize flavor, aroma, nutrition and yield traits for indoor cultivation. The partnership is an example of Soli Organic’s deep commitment to a “biology first, technology to scale” philosophy as we work to provide consumers with great-tasting and affordable organic produce.

Soli OrganicWhat’s next for Soli Organic?

Right now, our focus is on executing against current product timelines and continuing on our growth track to enhance our ability to meet the growing demand for fresh products that are organic, sustainable, affordable and accessible to all. To that end, we have plans in place to build eight new high-tech indoor Biofarm facilities, in addition to the seven farms in operation today. We’re very excited about the future at Soli Organic.

To learn more about Soli Organic, visit the website at www.soliorganic.com 

Jim Pantaleo

Jim Pantaleo To MC Indoor Ag-Con Las Vegas 2022 Educational Conference

We’re pleased to announce long-time indoor farming advocate and operator, Jim Pantaleo, will be joining the 9th annual edition of Indoor Ag-Con as MC of our educational conference, February 28 – March 1, 2022 at  Caesar’s Forum.

As a pioneer in indoor farming in Southern California and a part of the Indoor Ag Con family, Jim has been instrumental in creating content and gathering credible and dynamic speakers over the years — a role held today by our Conference Program Developer Kyle Barnett.

In his new role with the USDA-funded AI Institute for Next Generation Food Systems located on the campus of UC Davis, the focus is on how artificial intelligence and machine learning can help CEA and the broader food system address inefficiencies, cost, yield, quality, food safety and other critical areas of operations and production.

Jonathan Webb CEO AppHarvest Indoor Ag-Con 2022 Keynote

Farm of the Future: Q&A With AppHarvest CEO Jonathan Webb

Indoor Ag-Con is pleased to announce that AppHarvest CEO & Founder Jonathan Webb is joining our CEO Keynote line-up for the February 28-March 1, 2022 edition at Caesars Forum, Las Vegas.  His presentation, “How Tech In Farming Can Build A Resilient Food System,” will be on Monday, February 28,  from 11 — 11:50 am.

From building an AgTech hub in Central Appalachia to launching the “Fight the Food Fight” campaign to investing in and supporting high school AgTech education, learn more about how Jonathan and the AppHarvest team are working to solve today’s food and agriculture challenges in this month’s CEO Q&A.

It’s your home state, what are the conditions– efficiencies of scale, workforce, available water and other benefits that make Kentucky and Appalachia an ideal location for AppHarvest?

AppHarvest Kentucky is my home state and I do love it. But, it also makes sense strategically to build an AgTech hub in Central Appalachia for a few reasons:

  • Kentucky’s climate is well-suited for the industry. We grow using 100% rainwater and climate change is making the region wetter. In fact, the past decade has seen the most rainfall in Kentucky history with three of those years being the wettest on record. If you’re growing products that are up to 95% water like fruits and vegetables, you need to be where water is available.
  • The strategic location of our flagship farm in Morehead, Ky., allows AppHarvest to provide sustainable produce to up to 70% of the United States population within a day’s drive.This approach gets food closer to where it’s consumed, shortens transportation time significantly and reduces diesel use by as much as 80%.
  • Labor is another reason. With industries such as coal and tobacco going away, the region needs more jobs for a skilled workforce, and we are able to tap into that labor pool for our high-tech farms.

What historic milestones are comparable to what AppHarvest is attempting with the Farm of the Future? Automotive assembly line? 1960s space race? Why?

At AppHarvest, we believe that controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is the third wave of sustainable infrastructure. In my experience working on major solar projects with the U.S. Department of Defense, the first wave was 20 years ago with renewable energy. The second wave came 10 years later when Tesla made electric vehicles popular in the mainstream. Now, we’re in the third wave and it’s CEA using a combination of nature supported by technology to produce a lot more food with fewer resources. We’re using artificial intelligence and robotics to make data-driven decisions to farm more efficiently and better predict crop yield.

What was the rationale behind the “Fight the Food Fight” campaign and how are sales going with your “Food Fight“ salsa?

AppHarvest fight The Food Fight CampaignChange begins with education. We recognized the need for a consumer movement to encourage folks to learn where their food comes from and understand that their purchases matter. The Fight the Food Fight campaign is a call to action that asks consumers to join us in creating a more resilient food system designed for the long-term wellbeing of people and planet by supporting products that promote sustainable farm operations and good, living-wage jobs in agriculture.

In early November 2021, we introduced our first product tied to the campaign, called the Food Fight Salsa. The main ingredient is AppHarvest tomatoes and all other ingredients are U.S.-grown. The salsa sold out within a few weeks and is back in stock on our direct-to-consumer website at shop.appharvest.com. We ask you to Fight the Food Fight with us!

Can you share a little about what AppHarvest is doing on the AgTech education front to help train the next generation of farmers, specifically with regard to your collaboration with Eastern Kentucky High Schools.

AppHarvest High School AgTech EducationAs we work to build a hub of sustainable agriculture in Central Appalachia, we know we need to create an AgTech ecosystem with good education at all levels. That’s why we are investing in the next generation of farmers and futurists by supporting high school AgTech education. We have launched seven container farms since the start of our program, with a goal to have 20 across Central Appalachia to serve as a model across the U.S.

Jonathan Webb Container Launch App HarvestThese free-standing training facilities are made from shipping containers retrofitted with the latest sustainable agriculture technology, including energy-efficient LED grow lights and a closed-loop irrigation system that teaches students how to use up to 90% less water and grow up to 30 times more food in the same amount of space compared to traditional open-field agriculture. One container farm classroom can produce the equivalent of three to five acres of traditional agriculture, and the technology in each unit is a good example of what AppHarvest employees use every day on a larger scale.

Where do you see AppHarvest 5 or 10 years from now – what’s your ultimate goal?

The world’s food and agriculture problems are not going to be solved in the short-term. The AppHarvest team sees our journey to create a resilient food system taking decades. We’re at the beginning and working hard to create shareholder value now that will still be there in decades two and three. We want to help build a sustainable organization that will be able to go toe-to-toe with the larger incumbents globally.

One way we’re doing this is by growing to scale. In addition to our 60-acre high-tech farm in Morehead, which can produce an estimated 40 million pounds of tomatoes per year, we are expanding our farm network to include three more farms expected to be operational by the end of 2022. The 15-acre Berea, Ky., leafy green facility and the 60-acre Richmond, Ky., tomato facility are both approximately 60% complete, and the 30-acre Somerset, Ky., berry facility is more than 40% complete. A fifth farm, the 10-acre Morehead North leafy green facility has an expected 2023 delivery. The company is working toward a longer-term goal of up to 12 farms by 2025.

AppHarvest isn’t going to save agriculture on its own. We know that a number of large companies will be working to solve our food and agriculture problems, and we intend to be one of them.

Learn more about AppHarvest by visiting their website — www.appharvest.com —  and register today to join us for the Indoor Ag-Con to hear Jonathan’s keynote address!

Agritecture Pre-Event Indoor Ag-Con Workshop

Agritecture To Host Pre-Event Urban Farm Planning Workshop

Urban and controlled environment agriculture advisory firm Agritecture will host the pre-event workshop, “Planning Your Commercial Urban Farming Business,” on Sunday, February 27, 2022 – the day before Indoor Ag-Con opens — February 28 – March 1, 2022 at Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, NV. Focused on providing participants with a clear understanding of how to think strategically and avoid mistakes when planning an urban farming business, the workshop will run from 2 – 5 pm.

Participants will receive access to Agritecture Designer, Agritecture’s proprietary urban farm planning software. This workshop will utilize Agritecture Designer and participants will work in teams to complete a design workshop to explore how urban agriculture might fit in with their current projects or long-term goals.

Workshop participants will also meet and hear from some of Agritecture Designer Partners and Indoor Ag-Con exhibitors,  including Ceres Greenhouse Solutions and Montel.

The Agritecture workshop is an optional pre-event workshop add-on available to Indoor Ag-Con attendees for just $150.  To learn more and sign up, visit www.indoor.ag/agritecture-pre-event-workshop/

“We are excited to partner with Agritecture to bring this comprehensive educational opportunity to our grower audience,” says Brian Sullivan,” partner, Indoor Ag-Con, LLC.  “Participants are sure to find this workshop to be a great  way to kick off their Indoor Ag-Con experience.  Not only will it help them strategically navigate the concurrent Indoor Ag-Con and National Grocers Association Show events that start the next day, the workshop also adds even more networking, market research, and partnership development opportunities for their businesses.”

Led by Agritecture’s Director of Digital Strategy, Ricky Stephens;  Marketing & Sustainability Lead, Briana Zagami; and Director of Consulting, Djavid Amidi-Abraham, the workshop outline includes:

Lesson 1 | Introduction to Commercial Urban Farming

  • Understanding the full spectrum of urban agriculture solutions & impact categories
  • Key lessons learned from current case studies and past failures
  • How to position your farm for success

Lesson 2 | Choosing Your Equipment, Crops & Marketing

  • Greenhouse vs. Vertical Farm considerations
  • An introduction to hydroponic systems
  • Understanding lighting options, nutrient solutions, air flow, and CO2 enrichment
  • How to conduct proper market research
  • Marketing & selling your product
  • Evaluating various sales channels

Lesson 3 | Presentations from Partners, including

  • Ceres Greenhouse Solutions
  • Montel

Design Workshop | Participants will be broken into teams

Teams will develop an urban farming concept based on a selected site location and parameters using Agritecture’s proprietary urban farm planning software, Agritecture Designer.

 

INDOOR AG-CON 2022 QUICK FACTS
WHAT:                 Premier trade show & conference for indoor |vertical farming and controlled environmentagriculture industry
WHEN:                 Monday, Feb. 28 – Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2022
WHERE:              
Caesars Forum, 3911 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89101
INFO:                    For information on exhibiting or attending visit www.indoor.ag or email suzanne@indoor.ag


ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON LLC
Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for vertical farming | indoor agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis | hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. In December 2018, three event industry professionals – Nancy Hallberg, Kris Sieradzki and Brian Sullivan – acquired Indoor Ag-Con LLC,  setting the stage for further expansion of the event. More information: www.indoor.ag

ABOUT AGRITECTURE
Agritecture was founded by Henry Gordon-Smith in 2011 to help others navigate the crucial planning stage for their urban farming business and avoid costly mistakes. Since then, Agritecture has grown into the world’s leading advisory firm on urban and controlled environment agriculture, working with clients of all types – from entrepreneurs, to investors, to technology providers – in more than 35 countries. In recent years, Agritecture’s service offerings have evolved to meet industry needs beyond farm planning and include strategy, due diligence, market research, and more. For more information visit www.agritecture.com