Montana company hopes to bring about change in indoor agriculture

You may not give much thought to where the vegetables on your plate come from, but one company with Montana roots has, and it's setting its sights on changing agriculture by bringing innovation to indoor farming.

Local Bounti built its first large greenhouse in Hamilton and has plans for several more in the Northwest as it prepares to go public in coming weeks. "Indoor agriculture is here to stay. It will make a big impact in the food supply globally," says Craig Hurlbert, co-founder, and co-CEO.

Hurlbert grew up in Billings and helped lead Billings West to a state basketball title in 1980. He started Local Bounti with his best friend Travis Joyner about three and a half years ago. The company grows leafy greens, like lettuce and herbs, indoors with technology that combines vertical and horizontal greenhouse farming. It provides some big advantages to traditional farming, including bigger yields and less strain on resources.

Another big advantage is a quicker trip from the greenhouse to the store and then to consumer's tables, unlike food that is grown in the fields and often sits in a refrigeration unit for days after it is picked and cleaned, then is sometimes trucked thousands of miles. That means a longer life for the produce.

"Our head of lettuce that has barely been touched by a human hand doesn't even need to be washed. It could go straight from our facility into a package into your home, and that product can last three to five weeks in your refrigerator," Hurlbert said.

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