Governor Ralph Northam announced that AeroFarms will invest $42 million to build their largest indoor vertical farm to date in the Cane Creek Centre, a joint industrial park for the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. AeroFarms is a farming company with proprietary aeroponic growing technology. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project, that will create 92 new jobs.
“AeroFarms is a leader in agricultural innovation with farming technologies that make high-quality, local produce available to more communities,” said Governor Northam. “We are bringing capital investment and economic opportunity to rural Virginia by recruiting innovative companies like AeroFarms. I thank the company for choosing Virginia for this important venture and commend Danville-Pittsylvania County for helping to secure this project.”
With global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation on a mission to grow plants for the better of humanity. AeroFarms indoor vertical farms use specialized growing algorithms leveraging custom LED lights and precision plant nutrition, calibrated to the needs of each plant, to produce baby leafy greens and microgreens that can be grown in up to a third of the time that it takes out in the field by giving the plants exactly what they need when they need it.
“Agriculture is Virginia’s largest private sector industry, and the Commonwealth continues to be on the forefront of agricultural advancements,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I look forward to working with AeroFarms as they expand the use of agriculture technology to strengthen Virginia’s food system and provide increased access to healthy foods.”
“AeroFarms has an important objective to ensure our growing population has year-round access to healthy food, and we are proud to support its first Virginia operation in Danville-Pittsylvania County,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball.
“The company’s decision to establish a vertically integrated facility in the Commonwealth is a strong testament to the advantages of our location and transportation and logistics infrastructure, which attract industry-leading companies from around the world seeking expansion into new markets. We welcome AeroFarms to Virginia and look forward to our future corporate partnership.”
“We are excited to expand to Virginia, an incredible state with a strong farming tradition, and we have been honored by the amazing reception at all levels,” commented David Rosenberg, Co Founder & CEO of AeroFarms.
“We want to thank everyone for helping bring our 10th farm to life to create new jobs and increase access to healthier foods with better flavor that top chefs like native Virginian David Chang have embraced. With the property developer RealtyLink, we are building out the largest, most advanced indoor vertical farm of its kind with our next generation of growing technology. Locating in the Danville area also specifically highlights how our innovative indoor growing approach works in both rural and urban environments. At 150,000 square feet, our new farm more than doubles the size of our last major commercial farm in New Jersey that will help us meet the strong consumer demand for safely grown produce that delivers peak flavor always. We are also excited about the future collaboration opportunities with The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) to build on our Strategic Partnership work with Fortune 100 companies to solve broader ag-related supply chain issues.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Pittsylvania County, the City of Danville, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund, as well as a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, to assist Danville-Pittsylvania County with the project.
The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a grant for $190,000 from the Tobacco Regional Opportunity Fund for the project. AeroFarms qualifies for state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP).