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US (IN): Vertical farmer pushes the envelope

Robert Colangelo, Founding Farmer and CEO of Green Sense Farms, is no stranger to the environmental world or agriculture, having worked previously for Argonne National Laboratory where he tested the affects of acid rain on different crops and a variety of other environmental businesses. Prior to vertical farming, Colangelo was also involved in brownfield redevelopment, which takes contaminated properties and cleans them up, making the surrounding land more economically viable.

"I consider myself an environmental entrepreneur. [Vertical farming] is a new trend and everyone is talking about eating locally sourced foods that are pesticide free and I thought this was a great field to get into. I did the research and saw that the tech was robust and scalable and went about building our first farm in Portage, Indiana," said Colangelo.

"When we first started, Whole Foods has their Midwest Distribution Center in Munster and we knew we wanted to be close to the customer. Our model is to stay around 20 minutes away from the customer, whether that is a distribution center, hospital, college campus or military base," said Colangelo.

Not only innovative, Green Sense Farms is also dedicated to being eco-friendly, and is always working on new ways to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize waste. Being so close to the businesses they serve reduces their ecological footprint by lessening the travel distance of their distribution, which also ensures a fresher product for the consumer. Green Sense designs, builds, and operates their farms in the USA and licenses their technology to third parties outside of the country. Building this network of locations around the country ensures that many communities around the nation have access to locally grown leafy greens.

Read more at ValpoLife.com (Peter Krivas)

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