For the first time, Indoor Ag-Con located its smaller East coast event in Philadelphia on October 16, hosting Indoor Ag-Con Philly at the modern Samuel V. Hamilton building of the country’s oldest art museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).

The event sold out well ahead of time, and participants received a gift bag that included baseball caps from sponsor Argus Controls, seeds from AmHydro, and an exclusive hard copy of our newest white paper, on the business of LED lighting. As part of their commitment to source from local startups wherever possible, Indoor Ag-Con Philly worked with a student-led startup, Rebel Ventures, to include their breakfast snack bars in our gift bags. Rebel Crumbles were designed by students unhappy at the breakfast choices available to them, and their healthy alternative is now offered in Philadelphia schools.

The day’s 13 speakers covered some of the industry’s “big themes”, including:
  • the need for collaboration to address policy concerns. Esteban Macias of the Coalition for Sustainable Organics outlined the impact that the impending NOSB vote could have on indoor agriculture’s growth and adoption, while Russell Redding, Secretary of Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania discussed how the industry can work to become better included in state and federal agriculture policies. On a different tack, Dr. AJ Both of Rutgers University discussed his plans for a standard LED lighting label, and encouraged the LED light industry to work towards creating independent standards.
  • the benefits of indoor agriculture in building local communities. Mayor Jim Kenney of the City of Philadelphia provided a great welcome to the city, and Harold Epps of the City of Philadelphia elaborated on the potential for green job creation and community development.
  • how innovation continues to shape indoor agriculture. Adam Greenberg of iunu discussed his Joe Montana-backed startup’s approach to artificial intelligence. Complete with demonstration, Jack Griffin of Metropolis Farms unveiled a new lamp ballast that he says cuts total energy consumption in its indoor farm by 60%.
On October 17, sponsor Kennett Township hosted a mushroom farm tour for Indoor Ag-Con Philly participants that took in Pietro Mushroom’s state of the art facilities and concluded with a tour of world-renowned Longwood Gardens’ greenhouses.

Up next for Indoor Ag-Con are the larger events in Singapore (January 2018) and Las Vegas (May 2018), registration and exhibition halls are now open for each.

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