Governor Ralph Northam today announced that startup company Sunny Farms, LLC will invest $59.6 million to establish a hydroponic greenhouse for production, workforce development, and research in the City of Virginia Beach. The company’s location at Taylor Farms will also house One Matters Inc., a new 501(c)(3), not-for-profit entity that will offer workforce development opportunities for underserved populations. Virginia successfully competed with Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for the project, which will create 155 new jobs.
For more than two years, Sunny Farms’ founders Jim Arnhold and Wayne Zinn have been working closely with the School of Plant and Environmental Science at Virginia Tech, as well as industry experts, to develop the company’s state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse. Sunny Farms will grow its products using Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA), an advanced method of hydroponic agriculture where plants are grown within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices. The greenhouse production system will be sourced from Prins-USA, a Virginia-based company.
“Securing this impactful new project is a reflection of our Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting innovative companies like Sunny Farms that are pushing boundaries in agricultural development,” said Governor Northam. “Together with One Matters and our higher education institutions, we are laying the foundation for significant long-term economic and workforce opportunities that will help lift up underserved Virginians in Hampton Roads. I commend all partners involved in making this announcement a reality and am confident Sunny Farms will grow and thrive at its home in Virginia Beach.”
For more information, visit www.governor.virginia.gov.