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US (VT): AGROWN sets direction for US controlled environment agriculture growth

AGROWN LLC sponsored a one- day conference on Sept. 8 at the Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center (VABEC). Participants reviewed the facility as a possible location to site the first US R&D/Training center for controlled environment agriculture (CEA), water and energy.

AGROWN CEO Dr. Sue Raftery stated: “We had 24 attendees on site, over a dozen attendees online with real time interface and nearly 100 following the program on Twitter.”

Global financial firm William Blair & Company identified three major drivers for US industry growth:

1. Consumer requirement for local, accountable, safe food 
2. Climate change dramatically affecting the US food basket in California 
3. The need to redistribute food production across the US for food security as the country adjusts to water issues and potential extremist actions.
William Blair & Co. believes it will take a $1.75T investment for the US to become self-sufficient in its fresh vegetable and fruit requirements, which would expand high-paying jobs and related support sectors.

Representatives from global horticultural firm Priva and multinational industrial firm Pentair gave presentations on worldwide governmental trends in reacting to climate issues and opportunity to test and innovate in this high-growth industry, respectively. Furthermore, Pentair's representative said this growth can easily outstrip last decade's growth in the ethanol industry.

Aeroponica International reviewed the property as a potential North America base for detailed R&D.

Join the conversation about the CEA industry's future at AGROWN's AgTech Investing Conference, 21-23 October 2015. Space is limited! Register here.

For more information 
Sue Raftery, Co-Founder/CEO
T: (419) 677-9109(419) 677-9109

Steve Jones, Board Member
T: (606) 584-4007(606) 584-4007
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