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"Robot farmers are changing the future of agriculture"

80 Acres Farms doesn't just want to make fresh, local produce for Cincinnati and neighboring areas; it wants to completely overhaul the food system in the US. 

"We decided that the [food] industry was really broken and that it had to be fixed from within. Farmers are struggling and they don't want their kids to be in farming," 80 Acres CEO Mike Zelkind explains as a robot named "Sam" expertly maneuvers containers of leafy greens around a series of stacked shipping containers inside the Hamilton warehouse. 

The team has spent five years on intensive trial and error to build this farm. They've brought in tech from other companies and also experimented by building their own to get as close as they can to an "optimal" indoor farm. Each new farm they build benefits from the things they learned the last time around -- and this facility in Hamilton is their newest and most high-tech farm.

80 Acres' Hamilton farm has 10 shipping containers that measure 40 feet long, eight feet wide and eight feet tall. Each shipping container has between four to six levels and can accommodate roughly 4,000 plants. If every shipping container is filled to capacity, that's 40,000 plants total. This facility focuses on lettuces and other leafy greens.

Read more at CNET (Megan Wollerton)


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