Jake Counne, Backyard Fresh Farms
Indoor Ag-Con speaker Jake Counne is Founder and CEO of Backyard Fresh Farms.
Jake recognized an opportunity for vertical farming in 2016. That’s when he toured an abandoned factory in a suburb near Chicago. As he walked through the empty manufacturing building, he began to imagine possibilities. He thought vertical farming would give new life to a dormant site.
Jake’s vision grew from his success as a principal of a real estate company that renovates and manages properties in blighted Chicago neighborhoods. In this role, Jake revitalized obsolete and underused properties and sustained their viability.
To launch Backyard Fresh Farms, Jake recruited employees and advisory board members. The board members have expertise in horticultural science, mechanical engineering, food automation, produce wholesaling and rapid scaling. During three-plus years, Jake and his team have made significant reductions in both labor and energy costs—two main operating costs that have bedeviled other vertical farming ventures. They did this by integrating patent-pending automation, machine learning and BFF’s proprietary “plant-based intelligence” platform.
Backyard Fresh Farms’ goal is to profitably grow superior greens by developing and employing a fresh approach to owning and operating commercial-scale, vertical farms.