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One of the largest aquaponic farms in the country expands access to local organic greens as demand continues to rise

US (ME): Aquaponics greenhouse raises $22M for Northeast greenhouse expansion

Springworks, A certified organic aquaponic greenhouse in the Northeast, announced today a $22M round of fresh funding that will fuel the company's regional expansion. The capital, raised through a combination of equity and debt, will fund the construction of Springworks' fourth and largest greenhouse, which adds 120,000 square feet and 40 new jobs to the state of Maine. This is Phase One of Springworks' plan to build 500,000 square feet of greenhouse space over the next six years.

Springworks uses aquaponics, a recirculating ecosystem that combines fish and plants, to grow organic Bibb, Romaine, and Green Leaf lettuce. After completion of Greenhouse #4, Springworks will produce ~5M heads of organic lettuce and 315,000 lbs. of tilapia per year. The expansion will allow Springworks, which already services over 300 stores, to meet the increasing demand for local, safe, and sustainable food. By investing regionally, Springworks cuts thousands of food transportation miles for customers such as Hannaford, Whole Foods, and Roche Bros. to increase access to high-quality, local food year-round.

"Regional agriculture is core to the sustainable future we want to help build," said 27-year-old Trevor Kenkel, who founded Springworks in 2014 at the age of 19. "By delivering organic greens to customers faster, we are able to cut food waste and improve quality."

Karin Gregory led the investment for Blue Highway Capital. "We first met the Springworks team in 2021 and began to follow their progress. We look in rural areas for companies with strong management teams in sectors positioned for growth and are pleased to have participated in this financing with Farm Credit East," stated Gregory.

Springworks is also fortunate to have the support of several economic development organizations, such as the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). MTI has been a pivotal leader in Maine's innovation economy, making Maine an ideal environment for entrepreneurs.

"MTI is proud to support Springworks Farm as it utilizes innovation to grow high-quality organic lettuce year-round in Maine," said Brian Whitney, President of MTI. "It's clear that we need to grow more of our food locally if we want to develop a more resilient and sustainable food system. That's why we have provided funding and assistance to Springworks Farms in its pursuit to become the largest aquaponics farm in the U.S. and, indeed, the world." 

Springworks is thrilled to partner with the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), which helps lead the creation of good-paying jobs for Maine people by working at the nexus of economic and workforce development. FAME provided financing to Springworks in the form of 75% pro rata loan insurance on a $5 million loan and a $1 million line of credit by Farm Credit East.

"FAME is pleased to help finance Springworks' expansion," stated David Daigler, FAME Board chair. "The innovative, eco-friendly aquaponic farming being done in Lisbon by Trevor and his team is remarkable and benefitting Maine and the public."

With almost a decade of operating experience and a dynamic management team, Springworks is expanding innovative regional farming solutions and quality jobs in Maine.

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