On September 30, Square Roots will cut the ribbon and officially open their newest indoor farm on the Gordon Food Service headquarters in Wyoming, Michigan. This is the beginning of a strategic partnership that will see Square Roots’ high-tech farms built on or near Gordon Food Service locations across the continent, bringing high-quality, hyper-local produce to customers all year round.
Scalable urban farming at speed
Square Roots’ partnership with Gordon Food Service was announced at the end of March, and their first co-located farm is opening just six months later. This speed is possible thanks to their modular, scalable farm-tech platform. They can bring their model to any city in the world, and they can do it fast.
As their network of farms gets larger, it also gets smarter. Cloud-connected farms and data-empowered farmers learn from each other, enabling Square Roots to replicate success from one location to another, seamlessly. Opening the Michigan farm brings us closer to the vision of a distributed network of indoor farms, bringing local, real food to people in cities across the world—while empowering thousands of next-gen leaders in urban farming through their training program.
Love is the magic ingredient in great tasting food
Of course, at the center of the Square Roots model are the farmers themselves. It’s their love for the plants that makes their food taste so good! With the food system rapidly changing all around us, there’s never been a more exciting time to forge a new career in farming and contribute to the real food revolution. The Square Roots Next-Gen Farmer Training Program is an incredible opportunity for young, diverse change-makers to learn and take their place at the forefront of urban agriculture.
Thousands of people have applied to the Next-Gen Farmer Training Program, and the demand to join the Michigan farm has been no different. Square Roots saw an incredibly diverse group of applicants, with about half local to the Michigan area, and others from as far away as Singapore and Nigeria. (Sadly, they’re only open to U.S. residents right now.) Diversity in perspective is essential for the agriculture industry to build a more complete and sustainable food system—one that can feed 10 billion people by 2050. For example, one of their new farmers, Winn Hermanski, is moving from Texas where he is leaving a career in software sales to join the real food revolution. His understanding of various business models comes with a personal passion for creating solutions for growing urban centers. Meanwhile, Savevone Sonsyanth, a pre-med graduate from Ferris State University, is bringing her love for real food with practical biology experience and an interest in human wellness to a new career in agriculture. It feels like a natural next step. However, the reality is that there are very few opportunities across the world for young people to make this leap. Square Roots are humbled by these stories as it becomes clear that the Next-Gen Farmer Training Program is captivating the minds of so many young people from across the globe and that so many people are eager to help figure out a new, sustainable food system. One that is ultimately better for people, the planet, and the economy. All of the Next-Gen Farmers will be featured on the Square Roots blog over the course of their year with Square Roots, so keep an eye out for their stories.
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