Tag: vertical farming

David Nothmann

Growing Pains on the Way to a More Resilient Vertical Farming Industry

As we usher in the New Year, a reflection on the dynamic last few months in indoor farming news provides some insight for what to expect in 2023 and beyond. We’ve seen both contractions by organizations like Fifth Season, Kalera and Infarm reevaluating and restructuring under financial pressure, and expansion, with others like GoodLeaf, Crop One and Freight Farms securing additional funding and growing.

Some observers have suggested we’re in the “Trough of Disillusionment” (the third of five phases in the Gartner Hype Cycle) but we’re right where we should be in the development of a healthy new market. Some first movers are finding success and others are still trying to achieve operational efficiency — and in an industry based on unit economics and efficiency (particularly yield per kilowatt hour), it’s all about efficiency.

Vertical farm operations are equal parts ag and tech, and they require incredibly complex systems, including climate control, lighting, irrigation, automation and, most importantly, systems integration. That last one, systems integration, is the linchpin. It is no small task to bring together disparate technology in a cohesive and coherent way that increases productivity and reduces costs, yet “operational efficiency” is generally not highly valued by venture capital investors. Nonetheless, the most successful vertical farming organizations to date have been those closest to achieving “systemness” — a concept most often applied to the healthcare system but also applicable to modern agriculture (both traditional outdoor and controlled environment indoor). Systemness is the highest achievable state of a complex system, with interconnecting elements working together to operate in ways that go beyond the operation of its component parts. In other words, one plus one equals three.

Bowery, an innovation partner of Unfold, is an instructive example. They’ve developed their own “operating system” that harmonizes data from across their facilities and finely tunes growing conditions based on that data. The BoweryOS, as they call it, brings all their systems together under one umbrella and helps them achieve systemness. Some observers are skeptical of claims made about the development of new operating systems and the use of artificial intelligence (AI), but you can’t argue with success. Bowery has doubled their revenue for the second year in a row and is on track to double their number of farms in 2023. Their success demonstrates a high degree of operational efficiency through a data-driven approach.

Unfold 2023 Gold Sponsor Indoor Ag-Con
Unfold is an industry-leading seed and digital solutions company advancing the vertical farming industry.

But even when optimal efficiency is achieved, most vertically farmed products today still fill a premium niche, which is why strong marketing programs are key to communicating value to both consumers and investors.  Singapore based vertical farming company Sustenir, another Unfold innovation partner, is such an example. Introducing the concept of “Superfoods for Supercities,” Sustenir continues to elevate the discussion around nutrient-dense produce and the role vertical farming can play in the health and wellness of consumers. With additional operations in Malaysia and Hong Kong, Sustenir utilizes social media to connect with consumers and promote their own brands. In addition to fresh leafy greens, they “upcycle” waste streams into other products, like their Spectacular Spinach Noodles. This focus on branding and consumer packaged goods mindset is not unique to Sustenir in the vertical farming space, but they lead the Asian market in their emphasis on nutrition and sustainability.

The exciting thing to watch for over the next few years will be the shift toward parity with outdoor growers — at least in the product categories most conducive to vertical farming. We’re going to see a gradual but significant reduction on the cost side, as operations become more efficient, more data is collected and used, and technology costs decline. The very technology that made vertical farming possible in the first place — climate control systems, irrigation systems, and especially LED lighting systems — has steadily fallen in cost and is continuing a downward trend even in the midst of global inflationary pressures. Do you recall when the traditional A-shape LED bulb was introduced at a cost of around $30? Now they’re $3-4 — a 10-fold drop. Here’s how United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) partner U4E describes the advancement: “Technologies for artificial lighting have made tremendous progress … from incandescent lamps, with a visible efficacy of about 10 lumen/watt, to compact fluorescent lighting with 50 lumen/watt, to the LED lamps as we know today of 110 lumen/watt to finally, this new LED breakthrough with incredible efficiency levels – 210 lumen/watt” (emphasis mine).

Even energy — the often-cited Achilles heel of vertical farming — will drop in cost over time as more renewables come online and farms become even more efficient in their energy use. Granted, the average retail price of electricity has risen over the past several years, which is why operators work so hard to secure a stable energy price. In the US, commercial electricity costs have risen roughly 7% from 2014 to 2021 according to Statista and remain on an upward trajectory, while industrial electricity has gone up about 2% over the same time frame. The increase is even higher in other places like Europe and Singapore. We believe co-location of large vertical farms with energy production will drive further efficiencies and cost reductions. This concept, advanced initially by Unfold CEO Sonia Lo, is captured in part in her interview by Greenhouse Grower, titled “Four Concentric Circles of Controlled-Environment Agriculture.” Keep in mind that these things are taking place in the context of an increasingly volatile climate that makes the predictability of indoor farming more and more attractive.

Unfold Indoor Ag-Con 2023 Gold Sponsor

Just as important as reducing costs, we need to continue to boost vertical farming’s productivity.  That’s where Unfold’s work comes in to play. We adamantly believe that productivity starts with better seeds, because even the most efficiently operated and technologically integrated vertical farm can’t afford to produce products from seeds that don’t perform optimally indoors. Our first step has been to screen existing seed libraries to identify the varieties most likely to succeed in indoor environments. With our exclusive license to Bayer genetics in lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, we have a world-class library from which to choose. Using this approach, we will launch a few new romaine varieties in 2023 based on seed lines showing promising traits for vertical farming. Initial tests indicate strong harvest yield numbers and highly consistent saleable yield.

Our second step is to use all the tools of modern breeding to develop novel varieties with the most desired traits. Most genetics for leafy greens thus far have been developed for open field environments, with traits that protect plants from diseases and pests, as well as certain environmental stresses. Unfold is focusing on traits critical for indoor production both from an agronomic and produce quality perspective. In addition to utilizing existing Bayer germplasm, Unfold can access the full Bayer pipeline of genetic diversity to develop novel products honed for indoor production. Finally, as we accumulate performance data across our selection and breeding pipelines, we’re building our AI and data analytics platform to produce new high-performing products for indoor farming customers more quickly.

Tasty Romaine Unfold
Tasty romaine lettuce grown from Unfold seeds

For all of these reasons, Unfold is as confident as ever in the long-term success of vertical farming. As the industry matures, some organizations will succeed and expand while others struggle, contract, restructure or even ultimately fail. Over time, the balance will shift, as companies demonstrating operational excellence will continue to grow and new players learn what works and what doesn’t. That’s the development of a healthy new market. You can see it in the fact that the vertical farming industry is expanding beyond leafy greens into strawberries, tomatoes, and other high value crops.

Vertical farming will always be a supplement and not a replacement for traditional agriculture, but with a global population recently surpassing 8 billion and showing no sign of slowing, it will become an ever more important one — particularly as climate change creates additional pressures on the global food supply. Protected from the ravages of flood, drought, and pests, and closer to the urban centers demanding more fresh, local food, the niche that vertical farming fills right now will only grow. The headwinds currently slowing the industry’s growth are not permanent. Energy prices will eventually stabilize as farms secure their own renewable sources while continuing to improve efficiency through peer learning and technological advancement.

So, let’s be clear-eyed and not disillusioned moving forward. The vertical farming industry is right where it should be. Let’s continue to work together to address some key market needs and add value to consumers.

Have a taste for more? Please visit our website at www.unfold.ag and follow us on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Let’s seed the way forward, together.

Contacts:

David Nothmann, COO Unfold

pr@unfold.com

Kimberly Esterkin

Addo Investor Relations, unfold@addo.com

Arama Kukutai CEO Plenty

5 Questions With Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai

Indoor Ag-Con is excited to welcome Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai to our keynote stage to give the opening morning  address on Monday, February 27, 2023.  Ahead of his keynote, we asked  Arama about some of the company’s exciting developments;  the challenges, trends and opportunities he sees for our industry; and what’s next for Plenty.  Read more in this month’s CEO Q&A:

In  September of 2022 Plenty announced plans to build the world’s largest indoor vertical farm campus near Richmond, VA.  Can you share more details on this exciting project?

We’re building a first-of-its-kind campus of indoor vertical farms, which is significant for a few reasons. The structure of a cluster of farms on a shared site creates increased efficiencies as well as the opportunity to grow a wider variety of crops at scale on a single site. The Plenty Richmond Farm Campus has a potential annual production capacity of more than 20 million pounds of fresh produce. First up is our strawberry farm, which we broke ground on last fall and expect to deliver berries in market with our partner Driscoll’s in 2024.

Plenty and Indoor Ag-Con

Speaking of growth, can you also share any updates on your Compton, CA  farm – including why you selected that location and how it fits into Plenty’s mission and growth strategy? 

We want to be a part of building a food future where everyone has affordable access to fresh produce. The Plenty Compton Farm, which will be fully operational this year, is our first commercial farm, so it’s the culmination of nearly a decade of R&D and a major step forward in scaling our growing capabilities. We’re proud to be bringing agriculture back to Compton, and working with local retailers to increase affordable access to our produce for California and the western U.S.

In your opinion, what are the key challenges that the CEA/Vertical Farm industry must overcome?

Achieving scale, and scaling with positive unit economics, is the key challenge vertical farming has to overcome to be a permanent part of our food system. Energy consumption is also a challenge for our industry, so it’s important to prioritize energy efficiency as well as choose locations with access to cleaner energy sources.

As Co-Founder of Finistere Ventures, a venture firm dedicated to Agrifood investment, what trends or innovations in the industry are you most excited about?

There’s so much innovation happening to shape a new future for food that is more sustainable and equitable. The last decade saw more than $120 billion invested in innovation, now it’s time to demonstrate the commercial proof points. I’m most excited about the development of a hybrid agriconomy that brings together vertical farming, cultivation and fermentation to scale food production in ways that are better for the planet.

Plenty and Indoor Ag-Con 2023What’s next for Plenty?

Our focus for the immediate future  is applying our technology and plant science R&D to commercial farms so we can scale our reach here in the U.S. and build our first international site. Beyond that, we’re continuing to expand our plant science innovation work to diversify the crops we have in market – strawberries are coming next, tomatoes and more are on the horizon. We are also going to announce new partnerships around financing the indoor asset class.

To learn more about Plenty, visit the website.  And, make plans to join us for the 10th Anniversary Edition of Indoor Ag-Con, February 27-28, 2023 to hear Arama’s keynote address AND be part of the largest vertical farming & controlled environment agriculture gathering in the USA!  Learn more. 

Crop One CEA Craig Ratajczyk

‘Making Global Food Local’ | Q&A With Crop One CEO Craig Ratajczyk

Last week Crop One announced the opening of its second U.S. farm, located in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania.    Earlier this year, it partnered with Emirates Flight Catering to open the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai.  The company is also raising the bar in the plant science arena with its Plants First ™ approach, other innovations and truly putting its marketing phrase “Making Global Food Local” in action.  Indoor Ag-Con is excited to welcome Crop One CEO Craig Ratajczyk  to our growing speaker roster for the upcoming February 2023 edition. And, we had the chance to catch up Craig in this month’s CEO Q&A to learn more about the company’s exciting developments and plans.

Emerites-Crop One Earlier this year, Crop One and its partner Emirates Flight Catering celebrated the opening of ECO 1 (Emirates Crop One), the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai. Can you share a little about your mission and goals for this incredible new facility?

Given the arid land and climate, the UAE currently imports over 85% of its fresh produce, with over 30,000 tons of leafy greens imported each year. One of our goals is for ECO 1 to increase food security and food sovereignty in the region by providing sustainably-grown leafy greens to the UAE market. It’s a 330,000-square-foot facility, spanning three floors with an output of about 3 tons per day, and over one million plants being grown at any given time. Hydroponic cultivation uses up to 95% less water than traditional outdoor farming, which gets to another one of our goals for the new facility: to bring fresh, local produce to areas that might not otherwise have access to it given the harsh desert climate.

ECO 1 serves as a strong proof point for how additional vertical farms could be scaled and replicated around the globe, meeting consumer demand and providing food sovereignty to any region that needs it.

There’s a good bit of talk about innovation in the vertical farming arena these days.  What is Crop One up to and what differentiates you from some of the other leaders in the marketplace today?

Crop One is leading the way when it comes to advances in plant science, and we’re particularly excited about a new plant-based protein that we’re researching alongside fellow industry experts. We are confident that this new innovation will open up additional market opportunities. We look forward to sharing more about this in the coming weeks.

Emerites -Crop OneDuring Indoor Ag-Con, you’ll be participating in our “Food Security Through CEA” panel.  What is one of the key messages you hope to share during this session?

The threats to our global food security are steadily increasing — a rapidly growing global population (as you probably saw, we just surpassed the 8 billion mark), declining arable land, climate change and increasingly severe weather events, and continued supply chain disruptions. These conditions are endangering the food futures of people all over the world, particularly those in places where they might not have the infrastructure or resources needed to overcome new food challenges. One of the key messages I hope to share during the session is that with so many of these threats entirely out of our control, we must focus on new technologies that can overcome — not eliminate — these hurdles. While traditional outdoor agriculture may have worked for the last millennia, it’s not the solution to sustain us into the future.

Emerites-Crop OneCrop One sells its fresh, local produce to 30+ US retail stores under the FreshBox Farms brand. Your marketing for the brand highlights   Crop One’s “ Plants First” ™ approach.   What is that and why is an important part of your messaging?

Unlike other vertical farming companies, Crop One has a Plants First™approach, which recognizes that advances in technology and plant science are synergistic, so the main focus is how to effectively and efficiently grow plants in an artificial environment based on their biology. Only then do we automate the process. The Plants First approach takes a few factors into consideration including plant science, digital systems and innovation, operational efficiency and hardware, together all ensuring that we create the most nutritious and tasty product on the market.

 

Crop One PA Farm

 

What’s Next for Crop One – plans for expansion?

Excitingly, we just announced our second U.S. farm, located in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania. The 316,000-square-foot facility allows us to reach up to 50 million consumers within a 200-mile radius across the tristate and Mid-Atlantic areas, including customers in New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. This new farm will allow us to meet growing retailer demand, while also introducing new consumers across the tristate area to the benefits of hydroponically grown produce.

Learn more about Crop One by visiting the website.

And be sure to put Craig’s Indoor Ag-Con 2023 panel session on your schedule:

Food Security Through CEA
10 am – 10:50 AM PST | Monday, February 27
See Full Conference Schedule

Intelligent Growth Solutions

UK-Based Intelligent Growth Solutions Chooses Loveland, Colorado For North American Headquarters

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), the Scottish-based agricultural infrastructure company (and Indoor Ag-Con 2023 exhibitor!) , has announced that it has selected Loveland, Colorado, for its expansion into North America.

“IGS’ technology, mission and people are a perfect fit for the ag-tech ecosystem that continues to flourish across our region and in Loveland,” said City of Loveland Economic Development Director, Kelly Jones. “Northern Colorado provides tremendous value to a diverse range of industries and we are proud of this truly collaborative, regional effort to bring this innovative company, as well as high paying jobs, to the area.”

IGS designs, produces and maintains vertical farming technology that enables indoor growing anywhere, eliminates the need for pesticides or fungicides and reduces water consumption by up to 95%. Because no arable land is required, these systems can also be used to reduce the carbon footprint of food production by locating farms closer to the point of consumption or production. Opening a base of operations in Loveland will allow the company to better support North American customers, the company’s fastest growing market.

“The forward-looking approach to economic development within the city of Loveland and the state of Colorado fits perfectly with Intelligent Growth Solutions’ purpose of working with growers to help deliver sustainable food security,” said David Farquhar, CEO of IGS. “The location is within easy reach of a huge market as well as supply chain partners and is a great place for our people – and their families – to live, with 300 days of sunshine and just 30 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.

“The location of our North American headquarters is a pivotal decision in our evolution as market leader. We are confident that our new Loveland base will allow our rapidly growing business to continue to expand and thrive on a global platform, as we deliver vertical farming infrastructure to enable real farmers to grow an expanding range of crops reliably, profitably and sustainably because we give them total control of the weather for the first time: designed in Scotland manufactured in Colorado.”

The company also chose Loveland for the strong, skilled labour pool. Overall, IGS expects to create 114 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $98,991, which is 183% of the average annual wage in Larimer County. Positions will include engineers, supply chain managers, human resource and legal managers, as well as roles in marketing and sales.

“Innovative companies like IGS are building on Colorado’s strong agricultural heritage to create a future-thinking ag tech industry that will feed communities and support a thriving economy across our state. We are pleased to see Loveland become IGS’s North American headquarters and look forward to celebrating future accomplishments,” said Patrick Meyers, OEDIT Executive Director.

“We are delighted to welcome Intelligent Growth Solutions to Loveland as they establish their base of operations. Their innovative technology, environmentally-focused mission and talented people are a perfect fit for the community,” said Jacki Marsh, Mayor of Loveland.

The State of Colorado will provide up to $2,758,845 in performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits to IGS. The company currently has 220 employees, one of whom is already based in Colorado. In addition to Colorado, the company considered Washington and Massachusetts.

 

About Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS):

Founded in 2013, Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) is a multi-award-winning global business based in Scotland, which designs, supplies, and supports vertical farms for growers worldwide. We blend our engineering, crop science and agronomy skills to build the best technology to allow our customers to grow high-quality, nutritious food 365 days a year.

IGS delivers Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA) solutions to allow growers to take precise control over every element of the growing environment, enabling predictable and consistent cultivation in any suitable location.

In August 2018, IGS launched its Crop Research Centre in Dundee, and the business has since established a customer base across four continents. To date, IGS has raised more than $66.8 million in investment across two institutional fundraises (Series A concluding in September 2019 at $8.6 million and Series B concluding in November 2021 at $58.2 million).*

 

For more information visit www.igs.farm or connect with on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

 

*Figures based on exchange rates as of September 2019 and October 2021 respectively.

 

Jennifer Waxman Seed2Source

Where Agriculture Meets Wellness: Q&A With Seed2Source Founder Jennifer Waxman

Jennifer Waxman The Villages GrownAfter successfully guiding The Villages Grown™ to its current position as a vertically integrated, 84-acre total footprint, controlled environment agriculture (CEA), year-round, produce growing operation in Central Florida,  Jennifer Waxman is heading back to her roots.  That is, she’s turning her focus back to Seed2Source, the firm she launched in 2005 driven by her “agriculture meets wellness” passion and vision.

Indoor Ag-Con is thrilled to have Jennifer on our Advisory Board, as a speaker at the upcoming CEA Summit East in Virginia next week , and Indoor Ag-Con in Las Vegas in February 2023.  We had the chance to catch up with this busy CEA industry leader to learn more about her vision and plans in this month’s Q&A

For the last 6 years, you’ve overseen the impressive growth and development of The Villages Grown.  Why was the timing right to leave that post to focus on Seed2Source?

We were given the honor and trust to carry out our vision and model for The Villages Grown. This included the strategic direction, design, construction, and operation of a first-of-kind CEA in the South. We backed this with educational programming from both B2C and B2B. We built a community-based brand yet grew enough product for expansion throughout Florida. We worked with beautiful people in a beautiful community.

However, it is no secret that CEA is only scratching the surface in the US. We knew we wanted to be at the head of the ride with its growth. Several players in the CEA sector were showing intrigue and interest in our model. I believe this was rooted in our ability to build a strong brand, educate, all the while supporting other local farmers along the way.

I’ve learned a lot since entering the hydroponics sector in 2000. This is when I started to conceive this model of holistic wellness and was based on my global travels, thus observing the ‘Future of Food’. There is a lot to share from a rather long career in this sector. I have experienced successes, failures, and have observed overall industry needs and voids. This is the exciting part and I wanted back in!

Share more about Seed2Source, your Sustainable Ag Business Consulting Firm focusing on controlled environment agriculture

Seed2Source launched in 2016 but was really an evolution of my first ‘Agriculture Meets Wellness’ firm which was launched in 2005. Seed2Source is a first-of-kind, Sustainable Agriculture & Wellness, consulting firm headquartered in Florida but serving the US (and beyond). The firm focuses on strategic CEA projects rooted in sustainable agricultural, food-as-medicine, and local food system models.

Our CEA experience includes Vertical Farming, Controlled Greenhouse, Aeroponic and Hydroponic Methodologies, Strategy, Branding, Distribution, Education, Innovation, and Science. We are a one-stop-shop and are surrounded by the best and the brightest in all operational units required for true success. We bring in different consultants as the projects deem fit. This allows us to take on both small and large projects as the market dictates.

At the upcoming CEA Summit, you’ll be speaking on 2 panels, including one titled “Building The Future of CEA”.  If there is one message you hope to get across on that panel discussion what is it?

The CEA industry is still at its infancy and shall evolve with continuous iterations and innovations. Typically, when most people think of CEA, they only think of High-Tech, AI, Automation, etc. and forget about the State of Agriculture in general. I hope people start to realize that CEA is ‘part’ of a solution and not the ‘only’ solution. Also, I hope that people don’t forget about the actual agriculturists and horticulturists that are the true heroes in creating a sustainable, profitable, CEA operation. This seems to be lost with many of the current players in CEA.

You’ll also be speaking at the 2023 edition of Indoor Ag-Con on a great session idea you brought to us, “Building A CEA Alliance:  The Power of Grower Partnerships.” Can you share a little more about this idea?

As it stands, there is little-to-no diversity in US CEA. Everyone is clamoring for funding, market share, and innovations in technology. I believe they are missing a huge opportunity for collaborations, strategic partnerships, and supply chain solutions. We must work together not only for larger supply chain opportunities in both retail and wholesale, but to truly exchange best business practices and the like. We should also be collaborating to keep domestic supply in our own backyard and with prominence. There is enough business to be had for all!

What’s next for you and the team at Seed2Source?  

Our vertically integrated CEA Model, of which we pride ourselves on, was clearly not an overnight success. We are still on this journey. This will continue to be the core of our mission and vision. The Vision – ‘Intersecting Agriculture with Wellness as a Food-As-Medicine Approach’ — will continue to drive our passion and expansion.

We feel strongly that this is the model for success and ultimate operational sustainability. We are being courted by some amazing operations – both new and old players in the CEA space – which has been rewarding. We will continue to build our CEA and overall Domestic Farm Partnerships and Educational Programming.

Learn more about Jennifer and her team at www.seed2source.com 

AgHires Post The Great Regret

How to Navigate Hiring During the Great Regret

Over the last couple of years, the labor market has fluctuated drastically, and every industry is feeling that rollercoaster ride, including the indoor agriculture industry. It’s tough trying to find quality candidates that are willing to make the jump to a new organization. While not too long ago it seemed as if everyone was jumping ship from their current employer, however, many contributing factors are now causing job seekers to be more cautious.

The Great Regret

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a new quit rate record was made in November and December 2021, rising to 3%, in what has been called the Great Resignation. Just like any trend, the great resignation has ended. However, now it has taken a turn. New studies show that those who have acted impulsively to quit their jobs are now regretting their decision, about 1 and 4 people who have quit their job in the last year have regrets. While over 40% of those who left for a new opportunity say their new job is not living up to their expectations.

These candidates may have learned to take their time when considering quitting their job, and now are being extra cautious. Since many candidates have just left a job, they’re not likely ready to leave another, which is going to make the talent pool smaller. They are also going to take their time finding a new job that checks all their boxes. While, hopefully, they’ve learned to consider all the possibilities when it comes to finding a new job, it does slow down the hiring process.

Bystanders of the Great Resignation

Those employees that did not participate in the Great Resignation, watched their coworkers, friends, and family quit their jobs. Many of them may have been envious but didn’t want to take the plunge. However, now they are watching them regret their decisions. This is causing these candidates to approach a new opportunity with caution. They don’t want to take a leap and regret their choice. They feel safer staying put.

Recession Concerns

The looming recession is also causing candidates to hesitate. While we may have hoped the economy would have leveled out after 2 years of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, other factors have dashed those hopes. While experts are divided on the probability, many people have concerns that a recession is in our immediate future.

With the possibility looming, candidates are not going to act impulsively. Instead, they are going to carefully weigh the risks and rewards of changing jobs. They will consider if the agribusiness or indoor farm will be a stable opportunity. Is there a possibility of layoffs, could the company close, or will they still have an income if the recession comes? Is the company culture a better fit than where they are currently employed? Is there a pay increase and is it worth the risk?

How to Hire During the Great Regret

With so much hesitation from candidates, it’s making it difficult to find quality candidates in the controlled environment agriculture industry. In today’s job market, finding candidates for your open positions feels like an uphill battle. We’re finding that job seekers are applying to roles but are taking extra caution with which role they will move forward with. So, how can you fill your current openings when everyone is afraid to move?

Train the Right Person

If it’s a struggle to find candidates willing to take the leap for a new job consider hiring outside of the industry or hiring more junior employees, and spend some extra time training. Ensuring that your training is efficient and effective will allow you to bring new hires up to speed quickly and keep your agribusiness or indoor farm competitive in the market.

Also, look within your current team and promote from within. You might already have the right person for the job with some extra training. Training is sharing knowledge and teaching employees to perform their best. It may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Look for Inherent Traits

Remember, it’s not always what is on the resume that is important. Yes, you want your employees to have the skills and know-how to do a job, but you also want a candidate that fits your company’s culture. Their resume doesn’t show you what their work ethic is like or if their personality will mesh well with your team.

Finding the right people with the right attitude can make all the difference in your hiring strategy. In ag, we want candidates that have a strong work ethic, are passionate about their work and have the energy and enthusiasm required to do the job. Other industries also attract those candidates, such as the military and construction industry. They also have skills that can easily translate into the agriculture industry.

It’s All About Your Culture

Your organization’s culture is ultimately what will attract quality candidates to your indoor farm or agribusiness. Today’s candidates want to know what it’s like to work with your team on a daily basis and if will they fit in with the environment. Filling your team with employees that have similar values, behaviors, and communication styles will help your team and indoor ag business be successful.

Showcase your culture in your job descriptions and during interviews. Don’t just tell them what it’s like to work at the organization but give them examples, so they can gauge for themselves. Use the language in your job descriptions to attract the type of candidates you want. Avoid buzzwords that have lost their meaning, like “we’re a family” or “fast-paced environment”. Instead, use real examples from your indoor farm or agribusiness to showcase your culture.  Adding something like, “Sundays off to encourage a healthy work-life balance” or “company events to encourage comradery.”  Mentioning certain benefits such as “paid paternity time off for expectant mothers and/or fathers” is a great idea to show what you’re all about.

Go beyond just the compensation and insurance benefits. Do you offer opportunities for continuous learning? Do you have a rewards program or offer bonuses? Do you go beyond the industry standard with any of your benefits? Do you offer any flexibility in the off-season? Any range of benefits showcases how an organization treats its employees.

Conclusion

It’s a challenging time to hire agricultural candidates with so many factors for them to consider. While it can be challenging, there are ways to work through the obstacles and find quality employees to fill your team. It will take more work to publicize your job openings and reach out to candidates to attract them to your indoor farm or agribusiness.

Hiring can be tough, but AgHires is here to help you attract and find THE hire for your vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture organization. We are an industry-leading ag recruitment agency and job advertising company. We have an extensive network to help with everything from job advertising to full-service recruiting for your ag professional level and executive level positions. Contact us today to get started showcasing your indoor ag business.

Lori Culler AgHiresSpecial thanks to Lori Culler for this post.

Indoor Ag-Con 2023 speaker Lori (Lennard) Culler is the founder of AgHires, an online job board and recruiting firm dedicated to the Agriculture, Horticulture, and Food Production industry. AgHires offers job advertising, candidate sourcing, and full-service recruitment solutions for farms and agribusinesses across the U.S. and Canada.   Lori grew up on her family’s 3rd generation potato, tomato, and grain farm operating today across four states. After graduating from the University of Toledo with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management, she began working in human resources in both recruiting and management consulting. While hiring for her family’s operation, she quickly realized the lack of resources in the industry to find and attract talent which inspired her to launch AgHires.

CEA Summit East

Indoor Ag-Con, CEA Innovation Center Partner To Launch CEA Summit East

NEW CEA TRADE EVENT TO BRING INDUSTRY, ACADEMIA TOGETHER
OCTOBER 25-26, 2022 IN DANVILLE, VA

DANVILLE, VA (July 28,2022)Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Innovation Center — a joint project of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) — have partnered to launch the CEA Summit East, October 25-26, 2022. Designed to bring the CEA industry and academia together to share research, business strategies and build partnerships to drive future growth for the sector and its stakeholders, the event will debut at the IALR Conference Center in Danville, VA.

During the one and one-half day event, industry members will have the opportunity to attend the conference featuring CEA thought leaders, researchers and experts leading keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions; explore tabletop exhibits presenting the latest CEA innovations and services; and enjoy a host of networking opportunities ranging from meals and coffee breaks to an evening social event.

THE TEAM
The event hosts are especially qualified to bring the CEA industry and academia together for an event focused on business, educational and networking growth opportunities.

 

Virginia Tech and IALR

 

The Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center is a joint project between the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR). Housed primarily within a modern indoor agricultural complex on the campus of IALR in Danville, the center features various hydroponic and soilless systems/production systems and facilities, including indoor growth rooms, greenhouses, growth chambers and vertical growing racks.  The center’s scientists and technology teams are currently working closely with the industry’s top growers and suppliers on a number of key projects. Learn more at www.ialr.org/cea.

Indoor Ag-Con

The Indoor Ag-Con team of seasoned event professionals produces the premier trade show & conference for indoor |vertical farming | controlled environment agriculture.  Experiencing record year-on-year growth, its events touch all sectors of the business — covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops – and attract decision-making growers, investors, real estate developers, agtech leaders, produce buyers, academics, policymakers, industry suppliers and advocates from across the US and 20+ other countries.

THE AUDIENCE
The CEA Summit East is custom-tailored for new and well-seasoned CEA industry members from throughout the Eastern US, including indoor and greenhouse growers, facility owners and operators, educators, government officials, real estate developers, architects, construction specialists, sales and marketing teams and others.

The event will include tabletop displays from manufacturers and suppliers of AI and automation, control systems, sensors, equipment/accessories, greenhouse structures/supplies, lighting, irrigation, HVAC and more.

THE VENUE
Part of the IALR campus, the Institute Conference Center is a full service, state-of-the-art meeting facility – just steps away from Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center’s modern indoor agricultural complex.   What’s more, the Danville, VA venue is easily accessible — located in south-central Virginia along the North Carolina border, within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population.

“From the incredible work researchers are doing at its Innovation Center to its state-of-the-art meeting venue, IALR is such a rich resource for the CEA industry,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “We’re excited to bring our event experience and industry resources together with the expertise of IALR and Virginia Tech to create a showplace of innovation and educational opportunities for growers and other CEA industry members throughout the Eastern US.”

“This partnership between IALR and Virginia Tech has brought together diverse professionals from industry and academia including many people not traditionally working directly in controlled environment agriculture,” states Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

“This conference offers an exciting opportunity to bring people together for exchanging new and diverse ideas to help move the industry forward and into exciting directions,” says Dr. Kaylee South, Assistant Professor in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

“By developing strategic partnerships with both industry and academia, the goal of the Innovation Center is to conduct research and educational programming to develop, promote and advance the controlled environment agriculture sector,” adds Dr. Scott Lowman, Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center.  “The new partnership with Indoor Ag-Con perfectly aligns with our goal and promises to deliver a top-notch event experience for CEA industry stakeholders.”

For more information on the CEA Summit East, including conference programming, exhibit/sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit www.ceasummit.com.

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON
Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for indoor | vertical farming | controlled environment 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. More information – www.indoor.ag | 404.991.5186

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF PLANT AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AT VIRGINIA TECH
The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech trains the next generation of professionals in the fields of plant breeding and genetics, agronomic and horticultural crop production, plant protection, soil and water systems management, agricultural technologies, environmental restoration and agro-environmental stewardship.  It conducts research to improve agricultural productivity, reduce negative impacts on the environment and improve soil and water health.  Through extension programs, it provides science-based information to stakeholders to help them feed the world while protecting the environment.  More information — https://spes.vt.edu/

ABOUT IALR
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation. Core focus areas include research that provides a clear path to commercialization, advanced learning opportunities where education meets experience, training and rapid-launch space for advanced manufacturers, and economic development through conferencing and a partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. It is located in scenic and historic Danville-Pittsylvania County on the VA/NC state line, within a short drive of Roanoke, Greensboro and Raleigh.  More information –  www.ialr.org | 413.766.6700

 

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Netled CEO Niko Kivioja

‘Any Step Closer to Climate Neutrality Is An Important One’ | Q&A With Netled CEO Niko Kivioja   

Netled_IndoorAgContentVertical farming technology provider Netled and its client, Swedish herb supplier OMG (Oh My Greens), recently launched the first industrial-scale vertical farm delivering Climate Neutral Certified herbs from seed to shelf.  Indoor Ag-Con had the chance to catch up with Netled CEO Niko Kivioja to learn more about this exciting project, why it’s so important, and what’s on the horizon for this innovative company in this month’s CEO Q&A.

Why did OMG Choose Netled’s VERA® Technology for its new industrial scale vertical farm?

Swedish herb supplier OMG (Oh My Greens) produces 2.7 million heads of herbs annually for ICA, the leading grocery retailer in Sweden. Building a major facility with that kind of production capacity is very complex. OMG needed a technology provider who truly understands the technology and also has the experience and project delivery capabilities to carry out a project of that scale.

Oh My Greens industrial scale facility.indooragcontentWe call ourselves the one-stop shop for vertical farming, which means that on top of our proprietary Vera® technology we offer all services and support needed to build a commercially viable vertical farming business. This means we provide our customers with the design and planning of their facility, we ship the equipment, and we build, install and commission the farm. We support our customers in getting their farm up to production volumes. We also provide a five-year maintenance agreement to ensure the technology performs optimally.

It can be challenging to combine technology and services from different companies and ensure they work smoothly together. Plus you have to manage the various companies involved in the project. With Netled, you get the entire package under one roof. It’s simpler for the customer because all the various bits and pieces you need to build an industrial-scale vertical farm work seamlessly together. In a facility the size of the OMG project, those bits and pieces amount to around 120 000. So it’s no small feat.

OMG really did their homework in selecting a vertical farming partner. They will tell you themselves that they looked at 17 different providers before choosing Netled. They said that we are years ahead of the competition in terms of technology, know-how, and delivery capabilities. We are honored by that recognition.

What attracted you/Netled to the OMG project

OMG has the same level of ambition as we do: they want to succeed at vertical farming at an industrial scale and continue to grow from there. Our Vera® vertical farming technology is designed in a way that it’s scalable according to the customers’ needs and business case. The size and ambition of OMG’s project was perfect for our technology and service offerings. The growing area is about 25 800 square feet (2400 m2), and it is a big difference to make the automation work smoothly in that volume compared to smaller units.

Oh My Greens Vera vertical farm 2.indooragcontent
Photo Credit: ICA

We are also impressed by the fact that OMG’s customer is ICA, the largest retailer in Sweden. It is a very important step for us that such a significant player in the food retail industry takes a step towards vertically farmed products and sells them under their private label. Like us, they want to be at the forefront of developing a sustainable food system for the future.

We are very happy to see this development happening with big players like ICA, and we think it’s a good sign for the entire CEA industry. Vertically farmed produce is becoming more and more mainstream, and consumers will soon learn more about the benefits of this production method. Netled carried out consumer research this spring, and we found that only 11 % of Finnish consumers really knew what vertical farming was about. However, 95 % of the respondents were willing to buy vertically farmed products after learning more about the production method and its benefits.

It is clear that when major retailers incorporate vertically farmed products into their own store brand, it will open new conversations for us as technology providers.

The farm is described as the ‘first vertical farm in the world delivering Climate Neutral Certified herbs from seed to shelf.’  Can you share more about this designation and why it’s so important.

Oh My Greens Vera vertical farm.IndoorAgContent
Photo Credit: ICA

We are all in this battle against climate change together, and any step closer to climate neutrality is an important one for both OMG and Netled.

OMG is the first vertical cultivation in the world to deliver Climate Neutral Certified herbs following the Climate Neutral Certification programme. The owner of the standard is The Climate Neutral Group, a member of ICROA, the International Carbon Reduction & Offsetting Alliance. They follow strict criteria in terms of Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), and verification is carried out by independent, internationally recognized agencies.

Within this certificate, climate neutrality means both CO2 footprint reduction and compensation. OMG calculates their emissions footprint on a granular level including ingredients, storage, production, packaging, mobility, and upstream and downstream logistics until the products reach the shelf. The facility is built in an old steel factory and it operates with renewable energy: wind power. The remaining CO2 emissions are compensated by supporting an NGO’s agroforestry project of 214 hectares in India. The ultimate goal is to reduce the emissions every year until they reach a 0-emission supply chain.

Netled_WEB_4.indooragcontentNetled’s Vera® technology is designed to be as energy and resource-efficient as possible using up to 70% less energy and up to 95% less water than traditional indoor agriculture. It also allows customers to grow 2.5 times more crops in the same amount of space as greenhouse growing.

OMG’s vision is a world where food production is truly sustainable, and we as their technology provider are working towards the same goal. We are constantly striving to reduce emissions and this will be a work in progress as we develop our technology and processes.

What’s next for Netled – any other projects of this scale or other developments on the horizon?

We recently opened our first North American Vera® vertical farm as part of the launch of Netled North America in Calgary, Canada. The vertical farm in Calgary is a showcase facility for North American customers who want to see our Vera® technology firsthand. The demo unit features the same Vera® technology, but on a smaller scale. It will allow potential customers to see the technology up close and discuss their requirements with our experienced team in Calgary.

Netled_WEB_3.indooragcontentIn terms of other projects, we have just finished commissioning a compact-size Vera® farm in Poland, and we are currently building another industrial-scale facility in the Nordics. We are in the negotiating phase with other clients on some very exciting commercial-scale projects in Europe and North America, stay tuned for more details!

Learn more about Netled by visiting the company’s website — www.netled.fi

Katie Seawell Bowery Farming

Resiliency, Sustainability, Smart Farms: Q & A With Bowery Farming CCO Katie Seawell

Bowery FarmingFrom the recent opening of its largest, most technologically advanced sustainable commercial smart farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to its expansion into fruiting and vine crops with the launch of new strawberry varieties , Bowery Farming has been making a lot of headlines lately.

Indoor Ag-Con had the opportunity to catch up with Katie Seawell, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of the largest vertical farming company in the U.S, to get her thoughts on CEA industry trends and learn more about Bowery’s innovations, programs and mission to grow food smarter, sustainably, for more people, in more places.

What trend(s) are you seeing as it relates to how/why retailers are investing in CEA?

Investment in CEA comes down to two words: resiliency and sustainability. The past two years have made it painfully clear that climate change, global events, and supply chain disruption all have an enormous impact on our food systems. We need resiliency now more than ever before. By growing indoors, 365 days a year, with zero impact from drought, wildfires, or extreme temperatures, Bowery is growing a resilient supply of pesticide-free produce. And not only resilient, but predictable and reliable—we know, and therefore retailers know, exactly how much produce to expect, which cuts down on food waste.

Retailers and consumers are knowledgeable about where food comes from, and are investing in CEA for its sustainability practices. Bowery farms are powered 100% by renewable energy and cut down food miles drastically.

A product that is both good for the planet and more reliable is a powerful investment for retailers.

Can you share details around Bowery’s new partnership with the Nature Conservancy and what you hope to achieve through that relationship?

Bowery and Nature Conservancy Partnership

Bowery partnered with The Nature Conservancy to spread the word about #Rewilding—a movement committed to restoring degraded farmland and forests. A pack takeover during Earth Month and beyond included a QR code, available in over 1,000 grocery stores, to connect customers to information on actionable sustainability and restoration efforts, such as supporting The Nature Conservancy’s ‘Plant a Billion Trees’ campaign.

In addition to pledging to restore 50 acres in the U.S., in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Bowery sought to raise awareness about Rewilding, and spotlight what is possible when we give Mother Earth a break – allowing land to ‘Rewild’. Our packs featured cutouts of six animals, such as the Louisiana Black Bear, which was recently delisted as an endangered species thanks to conservation efforts.

The missions of Bowery and TNC meet in this partnership, as Rewilding and indoor vertical farming are both part of the solution to address global challenges from climate change to ecosystem biodiversity to feeding growing populations. When we grow inside, we can restore outside.

Congrats on the recent opening of your newest farm in Bethlehem, PA. It’s described as Bowery’s largest, most technologically advanced & sustainable commercial smart farm. Can you share why you chose the Bethlehem site and how this newest farm fits into Bowery’s growth strategy?

Bowery Bethlehem PABethlehem represents the next chapter in climate-smart agriculture at Bowery. The Bethlehem Farm, once a non-arable industrial site, is now modern farmland. This transformation from brownfield to vertical farm means that fresh, healthy food is now being grown, year-round, where it was previously thought no food would ever grow again.

This commercial farm is also a blueprint for Bowery. It features a replicable system that will allow us to grow food wherever and whenever it is needed. The farm is powered with 100% renewable energy and features 15% more efficient LED lighting. Bowery’s Bethlehem Farm will bring fresh produce to a population of 50-million people within a 200-mile radius.

We chose Bethlehem for several reasons: to meet regional demand for pesticide-free, local produce grown sustainably; to further our mission of democratizing access to reliable, healthy produce; and to help fight the climate crisis by building resilient regional food systems on previously non-arable land. What was once the flagship site of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation is now, in part, a modern farm that will help feed the community.

Tell us a little more about aGirlculture, the women’s development network you co-founded at Bowery and serve as the group’s executive sponsor.

AGIRLCulture at Bowery FarmingOver the course of my career, so many talented women leaders helped shape and inspire my path. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their encouragement and support. This background, where women fiercely support one another, led me to co-found aGirlculture at Bowery. The group brings together women of all levels to connect with peers and senior leaders. We’re creating a space for mentorship and other opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Our programming has included guest speakers, roundtable discussions, International Women’s Day celebrations, and more. During the height of the pandemic, we moved forward with our programming over Zoom.

It’s been very rewarding to build a space where rich discussions can happen, where we can dig into culturally relevant topics for women and lay the foundation for women to advocate for each other. And we’re just getting started.

Before joining Bowery, you were with Starbucks where you held a number of senior leadership roles in branding, marketing and product development. Can you share any lessons learned or challenges from your time at Starbucks that have helped you in your role at Bowery?

Two main lessons learned come to mind. First, Starbucks instilled in me a deep belief that we are all stewards of our planet, and that it is our responsibility to care for the environment to the best of our ability. This value led me to Bowery and guides the urgency I feel when it comes to our sustainability goals.

Second, my time at Starbucks taught me that the private sector cannot be a bystander when it comes to the challenges of climate change. Businesses need to put full weight and resources behind sustainability to be part of the solution to the climate crisis. By making responsible decisions to build sustainable models, we can solve really hard problems.

What’s next for Bowery?

Bethlehem Farm Bowery FarmingThe Bethlehem Farm, our Smart Farm of the Future, is a model for what’s next at Bowery. We have two additional farms under construction in Locust Grove, Georgia and Arlington, Texas and we’re on track to double our number of farms by 2023, with the goal of helping to alleviate the strains insecurity puts on the U.S. food supply and economy.

We’re also committed to innovation: our R&D team is continuing the diversification of our pesticide-free produce portfolio, unlocking new possibilities and flavors in food. This includes more SKUs in addition to leafy greens and herbs, such as strawberries and other fruiting and vine crops.

We envision a Bowery smart farm in every city in the U.S. and ultimately the entire world, and we’re on the growth trajectory to achieve just that.

For more information, visit the Bowery website — https://boweryfarming.com/

Record Attendance Growth, New Business Connections Headline 2022 Edition of Indoor Ag-Con Las Vegas

82% Increase Over 2021 Representing Attendees From 48 States/Territories, 20+ Countries, Growing Number of C-Suite Execs

(March 4, 2022) –  Just four months after its covid-delayed October 2021 edition in Orlando, the Indoor Ag-Con trade show & conference welcomed the indoor|vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry back for its February 28-March 1, 2022 run at Caesar Forum Las Vegas.  And what a welcome it was.  Marking an 82 percent increase over the Orlando attendance figure, 800 + growers, suppliers, start-ups and other industry members attended from 48 states/territories and more than 20 countries, including a high number of c-suite executives. Bolstering the figure further, nearly 300 attendees from The National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, co-located at Caesars Forum, also visited the show, taking the total attendance figure over 1100.

The Indoor Ag-Con Expo Floor also grew by 60 percent – from 50 booths in 2021 to 80 in 2022 – filled with the latest innovations in irrigation, control systems, lighting, substrates and more. Rounding out the show statistics, the 2022 edition’s educational conference brought together 77 speakers participating in 21 panel discussions and 3 CEO keynote sessions.

“From our sold-out show floor and record-breaking attendance to reports of game-changing connections and new relationships forged, we’ve been humbled by the positive feedback we’re received for our 2022 show from exhibitors and attendees alike,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con.  “Our show theme, ‘growing your business,’ truly came to life here in Las Vegas this week. The CEA industry is growing quickly and we are proud to provide the platform for the education, networking and innovations showplace needed to take it to the next level.”

“We are also excited about the untapped networking potential that exists between Indoor Ag-Con and The NGA Show,” adds Nancy Hallberg, owner | partner, Indoor Ag-Con.  “This first co-location was exploratory and gave both show teams the opportunity to start identifying ways we can really bring grocers and growers together. We think the 2 shows offer untapped business growth opportunities for our respective audiences and look forward to delivering on that when we come together again in 2023.”

Among the many highlights of the show included:

Indoor Ag-Con Signify 2022 PartyIndoor Ag-Con | Signify VIP Welcome Party
Signify teamed up with Indoor Ag-Con to tee-up the 2022 edition with a VIP Welcome Party on Sunday evening, February 27 at Topgolf Las Vegas.  Indoor Ag-Con speakers and other industry VIPs came together for an incredible evening of golf, networking, cocktails, food, music and fun with industry friends – compliments of Signify.

CEO Keynote SessionsIndoor Ag-Con BrightFarms 2022
Attendees had the chance to hear from executives from the industry’s top operators.  Steve Platt, CEO, BrightFarms and Steven Bradley, Vice President of Cox CleanTech, Cox Enterprises, kicked off the conference on Monday morning, February 28.  Later that day Jonathan Webb, CEO, AppHarvest took the stage.  On day two, Matt Ryan, CEO, Soli Organic (formerly Shenandoah Growers) started the day with the morning keynote address.

Indoor Ag-Con Workforce Development 2022Educational Tracks & Expo Floor Theater Panel Discussions
The 2022 edition featured 3 educational tracks – Grower, Business & Technology – that brought industry experts together covering a  wide range of topics from lighting specs and substrates to energy optimization, water technology, fertilizer, workforce development, robotics, automation investing/finance and sensor technology.  In addition, the Expo Floor Theater offered up additional content with sessions on everything from seeds and produce branding to grocer/grower relationship development, why vertical farms succeed and more.

Sold Out Expo Floor
Expanding to 80 booths, this year’s Expo Floor was home to some of the biggest names in CEA as well as up-and-coming suppliers.  From lighting and grow systems to substrates and irrigation, growers were able to see the newest innovations all under one roof.

Networking Opportunities
Daily lunches and an afternoon cocktail reception on the expo floor expanded the show’s networking opportunities.

Looking ahead, Indoor Ag-Con will return to Caesars Forum February 27-28, 2023 and will once again co-locate with The National Grocers Association Show.  

About Indoor Ag-Con
Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for indoor | vertical farming | controlled environment 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. More information is at https://indoor.ag.