4th Indoor Ag-Con, Las Vegas

Newbean Capital's Nicola Kerslake, founder of the Indoor Ag-Con, welcomed the conference participants at their largest event ever. During her opening she underlined the growth of North America's vibrant CEA Industry; much capital is invested in this upcoming industry, and the Indoor Ag-Con has become a leading knowledge platform to support this growth.
Newbean Capital's Nicola Kerslake, founder of the Indoor Ag-Con, welcomed the conference participants at their largest event ever. During her opening she underlined the growth of North America's vibrant CEA Industry; much capital is invested in this upcoming industry, and the Indoor Ag-Con has become a leading knowledge platform to support this growth.
During his opening Keynote, Professor Emeritus and CEAC Founder Dr. Merle Jensen addressed the past and present of controlled environment agriculture.
During his opening Keynote, Professor Emeritus and CEAC Founder Dr. Merle Jensen addressed the past and present of controlled environment agriculture.
Jensen talked about the development of soilless hydroponics and greenhouse growing systems; from the first soil mix research and development of bag culture crops to the first growing media trials. He also spoke about all his experience with different production systems in the most difficult climates across the world; Jensen explained that in each climate CEA is key to create a valuable chain for sustainable food production.
Jensen talked about the development of soilless hydroponics and greenhouse growing systems; from the first soil mix research and development of bag culture crops to the first growing media trials. He also spoke about all his experience with different production systems in the most difficult climates across the world; Jensen explained that in each climate CEA is key to create a valuable chain for sustainable food production.
Dr. Merle Jensen also gave some insight in what could be future cropping systems in greenhouse and closed environment production settings; according to Jensen, the future of CEA will be based on the combination of extensive plant science and the advanced engineering of technology like LEDs and climate control.
Dr. Merle Jensen also gave some insight in what could be future cropping systems in greenhouse and closed environment production settings; according to Jensen, the future of CEA will be based on the combination of extensive plant science and the advanced engineering of technology like LEDs and climate control.
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California lettuce grower Pete Overgaag of Hollandia Produce in Carpinteria and Marketing Director Keith Kandt of Arizona-based greenhouse tomato grower NatureSweet represented the Coalition for Sustainable Organics; a group of growers who are committed to maintaining the USDA’s current high standards for certifying organic produce. They advocate for the continued allowance of containerized and hydroponic growing methods under the National Organic Program, while enabling growers to select the most appropriate production system for their specific site and commodity needs.
California lettuce grower Pete Overgaag of Hollandia Produce in Carpinteria and Marketing Director Keith Kandt of Arizona-based greenhouse tomato grower NatureSweet represented the Coalition for Sustainable Organics; a group of growers who are committed to maintaining the USDA’s current high standards for certifying organic produce. They advocate for the continued allowance of containerized and hydroponic growing methods under the National Organic Program, while enabling growers to select the most appropriate production system for their specific site and commodity needs.
A special session with speakers from the USDA, AgFunder and Palliatech focused on the investor's perspective on the indoor agriculture industry.
A special session with speakers from the USDA, AgFunder and Palliatech focused on the investor's perspective on the indoor agriculture industry.
Mike Betts, Director of Investments at AgFunder gave some insight in how to raise capital for an indoor farming operation. As you can see, the financing in agriculture technology has seen a significant increase over the past two years.
Mike Betts, Director of Investments at AgFunder gave some insight in how to raise capital for an indoor farming operation. As you can see, the financing in agriculture technology has seen a significant increase over the past two years.
Mike Betts of AgFunder, the world’s largest community for professional agriculture investors.
Mike Betts of AgFunder, the world’s largest community for professional agriculture investors.
Michael Nelson of Palliatech, a large grower and developer of medical cannabis facilities and finished products, explained how they controlled the cost of their indoor cultivation facilities. According to Nelson, you can't control what you can't measure. Hence registration of inputs is the first thing to do when you want to reduce operation expenses.
Michael Nelson of Palliatech, a large grower and developer of medical cannabis facilities and finished products, explained how they controlled the cost of their indoor cultivation facilities. According to Nelson, you can't control what you can't measure. Hence registration of inputs is the first thing to do when you want to reduce operation expenses.
Nicola Kerslake moderated the session on financing and controlling costs.
Nicola Kerslake moderated the session on financing and controlling costs.
Herb Shedd of the USDA answered questions on the Rural Energy for America Program. He explained what kind of technologies were eligible for potential REAP grant funding opportunities.
Herb Shedd of the USDA answered questions on the Rural Energy for America Program. He explained what kind of technologies were eligible for potential REAP grant funding opportunities.
Stuart Shim of Beaver Plastics promoting their greenhouse vegetable production raft systems.
Stuart Shim of Beaver Plastics promoting their greenhouse vegetable production raft systems.
Chris Higgins of Hort Americas / UrbanAgNews together with Seedstock's Robert Puro.
Chris Higgins of Hort Americas / UrbanAgNews together with Seedstock's Robert Puro.
Joe Swartz and Jenny Harris of American Hydroponics.
Joe Swartz and Jenny Harris of American Hydroponics.
Steve Reinhard of Nanoco, a manufacturer of LED lighting that incorporates a special nanomaterial film which claims to optimize the light distribution and energy efficiency of the LEDs.
Steve Reinhard of Nanoco, a manufacturer of LED lighting that incorporates a special nanomaterial film which claims to optimize the light distribution and energy efficiency of the LEDs.
Dennis Raath of greenhouse manufacturer Rough Brothers Inc welcoming a visitor at his booth.
Dennis Raath of greenhouse manufacturer Rough Brothers Inc welcoming a visitor at his booth.
Helen Aquino of Village Farms, Indoor Ag-Con founder Nicola Kerslake of Newbean Capital and Village Farms corporate Chef Darren Brown.
Helen Aquino of Village Farms, Indoor Ag-Con founder Nicola Kerslake of Newbean Capital and Village Farms corporate Chef Darren Brown.
Codema's Michael Ploeg.
Codema's Michael Ploeg.
Zev Ilovitz and Kurt Parbst of Envirotech; the North American distributor for technologies from AGAM and KG Systems.
Zev Ilovitz and Kurt Parbst of Envirotech; the North American distributor for technologies from AGAM and KG Systems.
The Zipgrow Farm wall from Bright Agrotech attracted a lot of interested visitors.
The Zipgrow Farm wall from Bright Agrotech attracted a lot of interested visitors.
Nick Klase of Fluence Bioengineering
Nick Klase of Fluence Bioengineering
Michael Kovalycsik from Delta T Solutions
Michael Kovalycsik from Delta T Solutions
Henry Vangameren and Bill Whittaker of Priva North America promoting their environmental control solutions for indoor growing.
Henry Vangameren and Bill Whittaker of Priva North America promoting their environmental control solutions for indoor growing.
Otto Kaufmann of Lambert Peat Moss had several peat moss soil mixes on display.
Otto Kaufmann of Lambert Peat Moss had several peat moss soil mixes on display.
Joel Smith of VividGro / LightingScience
Joel Smith of VividGro / LightingScience
Michael Ploeg of Codema and Isaac van Geest of Zwart Systems.
Michael Ploeg of Codema and Isaac van Geest of Zwart Systems.
Larry Bourland of BlueLab EC and PH level automation controls.
Larry Bourland of BlueLab EC and PH level automation controls.
Transcend Lighting booth.
Transcend Lighting booth.
David Martin and Ron Evans of Indoor Farms of America in front of their vertical aeroponic farming system.
David Martin and Ron Evans of Indoor Farms of America in front of their vertical aeroponic farming system.
The Heliospectra team organized a tour at one of their customers the day prior to the Indoor Ag-Con; see this article: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/25476/US-Touring-The-Groves-MMJ-facility
The Heliospectra team organized a tour at one of their customers the day prior to the Indoor Ag-Con; see this article: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/25476/US-Touring-The-Groves-MMJ-facility
Justin Vanderputten and Derek McLaughlin of NewLux Horticultural LED Lighting
Justin Vanderputten and Derek McLaughlin of NewLux Horticultural LED Lighting
The Parsource crew.
The Parsource crew.
Chris Lundgren and Pamela Temko of Dosatron USA.
Chris Lundgren and Pamela Temko of Dosatron USA.
During a lunchtime break-out session, it was ask-me-anything with Village Farms CEO Mike DeGiglio. Mike explained the grower ambition and the relationship between local year-round production, retailers and the role of advanced production technology in order to create a premium product at a premium price.
During a lunchtime break-out session, it was ask-me-anything with Village Farms CEO Mike DeGiglio. Mike explained the grower ambition and the relationship between local year-round production, retailers and the role of advanced production technology in order to create a premium product at a premium price.
LEDBloom was one of the many LED manufacturers exhibiting at the Indoor Ag-Con.
LEDBloom was one of the many LED manufacturers exhibiting at the Indoor Ag-Con.
During and between the sessions, participants had the opportunity to get better acquainted with the offerings of the exhibitors; while most of them offered LEDs, there was also a fair amount of climate control, general supplies, irrigation and water technology available as well as greenhouse structures.
During and between the sessions, participants had the opportunity to get better acquainted with the offerings of the exhibitors; while most of them offered LEDs, there was also a fair amount of climate control, general supplies, irrigation and water technology available as well as greenhouse structures.
Timothy Madden of On Point Technologies visiting the Heliospectra booth.
Timothy Madden of On Point Technologies visiting the Heliospectra booth.
Autogrow Systems from New Zealand was also exhibiting their irrigation and climate control technology.
Autogrow Systems from New Zealand was also exhibiting their irrigation and climate control technology.
Paul Brentlinger of CropKing moderated a session on the economic viability of container farms for commercial production.
Paul Brentlinger of CropKing moderated a session on the economic viability of container farms for commercial production.
According to Eric Amyot of Modular Farms, the strength of (shipping) container farm systems lies in their repeatability. Container farms give the option to produce not only locally, but also very consistently and sustainably.
According to Eric Amyot of Modular Farms, the strength of (shipping) container farm systems lies in their repeatability. Container farms give the option to produce not only locally, but also very consistently and sustainably.
Amyot explained that a container or indoor grow operator doesn't need much experience to become a successful farmer. Nowadays there is a lot of support available via online and offline education programs.
Amyot explained that a container or indoor grow operator doesn't need much experience to become a successful farmer. Nowadays there is a lot of support available via online and offline education programs.
Jim Bergantz of AgraTech Greenhouse Manufacturing welcomes a visitor at his booth.
Jim Bergantz of AgraTech Greenhouse Manufacturing welcomes a visitor at his booth.
Modular Farms has developed a complete indoor vertical farming system capable of producing fresh, healthy plants virtually anywhere in the world.
Modular Farms has developed a complete indoor vertical farming system capable of producing fresh, healthy plants virtually anywhere in the world.
Participants were eagerly taking notes and pictures during the speaker sessions.
Participants were eagerly taking notes and pictures during the speaker sessions.
David Martin of Indoor Farms of America explained how their vertical aeroponic cultivation system could contribute to the economic viability of commercial container farms.
David Martin of Indoor Farms of America explained how their vertical aeroponic cultivation system could contribute to the economic viability of commercial container farms.
A participant visiting Siebe Streekstra and Eric Waterman at the Grow-Tech booth.
A participant visiting Siebe Streekstra and Eric Waterman at the Grow-Tech booth.
Grow-Tech plugs inside the capillary gutter from Horti technology. See also: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/23009/New-capilary-cloth-has-potential-to-replace-substrate
Grow-Tech plugs inside the capillary gutter from Horti technology. See also: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/23009/New-capilary-cloth-has-potential-to-replace-substrate
The Grow-Tech Biostrate felt for microgreens production. See also: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/12684/new-biobased-textile-specifically-engineered-for-hydroponic-microgreens
The Grow-Tech Biostrate felt for microgreens production. See also: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/12684/new-biobased-textile-specifically-engineered-for-hydroponic-microgreens
Bob Koontz from Venntis' TotalGrow lighting solutions.
Bob Koontz from Venntis' TotalGrow lighting solutions.
Tony Kieffer showcasing ArchSolar's integrated PV solution for greenhouses.
Tony Kieffer showcasing ArchSolar's integrated PV solution for greenhouses.
Dan Kuenzi of Local Roots discussed the economic potential of commercial container farms.
Dan Kuenzi of Local Roots discussed the economic potential of commercial container farms.
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Blake Lange and Gus van der Feltz of Philips Horticulture LED Solutions.
Blake Lange and Gus van der Feltz of Philips Horticulture LED Solutions.
Valoya's Lars Aikala and Yurij Duda of Argus Controls welcome a visitor at their booth.
Valoya's Lars Aikala and Yurij Duda of Argus Controls welcome a visitor at their booth.
A packed trade show floor in between sessions.
A packed trade show floor in between sessions.
Modular Farms also had a booth at the trade show.
Modular Farms also had a booth at the trade show.
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Lars Jensen of Blackmore / Ellepot USA together with Otto Kaufmann of Lambert Peat Moss.
Lars Jensen of Blackmore / Ellepot USA together with Otto Kaufmann of Lambert Peat Moss.
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Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech.
Nate Storey of Bright Agrotech.
The Zipgrow indoor farming system from Bright Agrotech.
The Zipgrow indoor farming system from Bright Agrotech.
Indoor Ag-Con also had plenty of merchandise available.
Indoor Ag-Con also had plenty of merchandise available.
Martin Veenstra of Dutch horticulture solutions manufacturer Certhon.
Martin Veenstra of Dutch horticulture solutions manufacturer Certhon.
Sean McDonald of Bitwater Farms and Andrew Bretiano of Tiny Farms discussed the future of alternate proteins in indoor systems; how do you market these and how do they add value to your product?
Sean McDonald of Bitwater Farms and Andrew Bretiano of Tiny Farms discussed the future of alternate proteins in indoor systems; how do you market these and how do they add value to your product?
James Grouzos of P.L. Light Systems.
James Grouzos of P.L. Light Systems.
Village Farms' corporate chef Darren Brown explained what produce buyers expect from their growers; there are a lot of opportunities for those who grow exactly what their customers want. From a chef's point of view the varieties are important, but the consistency of the product is even more important. In addition, buyers these days prefer a product from a farmer who has a story to tell.
Village Farms' corporate chef Darren Brown explained what produce buyers expect from their growers; there are a lot of opportunities for those who grow exactly what their customers want. From a chef's point of view the varieties are important, but the consistency of the product is even more important. In addition, buyers these days prefer a product from a farmer who has a story to tell.
Yes, that is an AgraTech Greenhouse!
Yes, that is an AgraTech Greenhouse!
David Dobos from Blackmore.
David Dobos from Blackmore.
Lumigrow's CEO Shami Patel together with Lumigrow Commercial Grower Accounts Manager Ashley Veach.
Lumigrow's CEO Shami Patel together with Lumigrow Commercial Grower Accounts Manager Ashley Veach.
Greenhouse consultant Marco De Bruin.
Greenhouse consultant Marco De Bruin.
Nate Storey from Bright Agrotech opened the second day with a keynote on the most recent technical breakthroughs in aquaponic systems.
Nate Storey from Bright Agrotech opened the second day with a keynote on the most recent technical breakthroughs in aquaponic systems.
Discussions going on at the booth of Aessense LED Lighting.
Discussions going on at the booth of Aessense LED Lighting.
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Allan Murr of Pyramid Garden and Vancouver Island Urban Farms together with Cem Guvendiren of Enerama Environmental Solutions from Turkey.
Allan Murr of Pyramid Garden and Vancouver Island Urban Farms together with Cem Guvendiren of Enerama Environmental Solutions from Turkey.
Nadia Sabeh of Guttmann and Blaevoet discussed the road to choosing the right HVAC system.
Nadia Sabeh of Guttmann and Blaevoet discussed the road to choosing the right HVAC system.
According to Jason Green of Edenworks, innovations in LED lighting and self-optimized ecosystems (internet of things related innovations) will speed up the commercial viability of aquaponic farms.
According to Jason Green of Edenworks, innovations in LED lighting and self-optimized ecosystems (internet of things related innovations) will speed up the commercial viability of aquaponic farms.
Producing locally and connecting with local retailers like Whole Foods are also key to developing a commercial indoor farm concept.
Producing locally and connecting with local retailers like Whole Foods are also key to developing a commercial indoor farm concept.
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Sarah Taber, Director of Food Safety at the Aquaponics Association, moderated the session on the recent technical innovations in aquaponics.
Sarah Taber, Director of Food Safety at the Aquaponics Association, moderated the session on the recent technical innovations in aquaponics.
Seedstock's Robert Puro moderated a session dedicated to regulations and permitting for building a farm.
Seedstock's Robert Puro moderated a session dedicated to regulations and permitting for building a farm.
"AgraTech's Jim Bergantz explained that it is important to be organized during the process of obtaining a permit. "Be ahead of the curve and know what to expect, planning is the key!"
"AgraTech's Jim Bergantz explained that it is important to be organized during the process of obtaining a permit. "Be ahead of the curve and know what to expect, planning is the key!"
Jim also gave a shout out to the NGMA.
Jim also gave a shout out to the NGMA.
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The team from Argus and Conviron; Yurij Duda, Jeff Neff, Michael Robbie, Eric Schmidt and Donny Cayanan.
The team from Argus and Conviron; Yurij Duda, Jeff Neff, Michael Robbie, Eric Schmidt and Donny Cayanan.
Yurij Duda of Argus welcomes a visitor at their booth.
Yurij Duda of Argus welcomes a visitor at their booth.
Dave Pruitt of iHort had several plug and propagation systems on display.
Dave Pruitt of iHort had several plug and propagation systems on display.
Priva's Meiny Prins and Mike Marino.
Priva's Meiny Prins and Mike Marino.
A complete aquaponic system attracted many people to the Aessense booth.
A complete aquaponic system attracted many people to the Aessense booth.
Conversations about City Farming at Philips.
Conversations about City Farming at Philips.
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Rens Muusers of Grodan visiting John Frey at the Hort Americas booth.
Rens Muusers of Grodan visiting John Frey at the Hort Americas booth.
Aad van Ruijven of HortiPar delivers complete turnkey tailored lighting solutions for the North American grower.
Aad van Ruijven of HortiPar delivers complete turnkey tailored lighting solutions for the North American grower.
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Maurice van der Knaap of DryHydroponics also visited the show. Here you can learn more about their system: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/24067/US-Only-one-worker-on-a-hectare-of-hydroponic-lettuce-at-Tanimura-&-Antle
Maurice van der Knaap of DryHydroponics also visited the show. Here you can learn more about their system: http://www.hortidaily.com/article/24067/US-Only-one-worker-on-a-hectare-of-hydroponic-lettuce-at-Tanimura-&-Antle
Randall Sanderson provides complete consultation on Food Safety Compliance Agricultural Certifications
Randall Sanderson provides complete consultation on Food Safety Compliance Agricultural Certifications
Using his extensive experience from the commercial greenhouse vegetable industry, Damian Solomon is working hard to develop the optimal commercial cultivation system for medical marijuana at MedMen.
Using his extensive experience from the commercial greenhouse vegetable industry, Damian Solomon is working hard to develop the optimal commercial cultivation system for medical marijuana at MedMen.
Jaeger Thuan with Sunlight Supply.
Jaeger Thuan with Sunlight Supply.
Joe Swartz of AmericanHydroponics discussed possibilities with new varieties for indoor cultivation during a session on the most recent innovations in plant biology.
Joe Swartz of AmericanHydroponics discussed possibilities with new varieties for indoor cultivation during a session on the most recent innovations in plant biology.
Joe Swartz of American Hydroponics, Neil Mattson of Cornell University and Steve Froelich of CropKing answered questions on the developments in plant biology.
Joe Swartz of American Hydroponics, Neil Mattson of Cornell University and Steve Froelich of CropKing answered questions on the developments in plant biology.
Illumitex' Director of Horticulture R&D Rebecca Knight was kind enough to answer all of our questions during a lunchtime break-out session.
Illumitex' Director of Horticulture R&D Rebecca Knight was kind enough to answer all of our questions during a lunchtime break-out session.
A lot of questions were answered in regards to how Illumitex carries out their research and how they use the outcome in the development of new LED solutions for growers.
A lot of questions were answered in regards to how Illumitex carries out their research and how they use the outcome in the development of new LED solutions for growers.
Dennis Riling and Joe Jeffries from Illumitex
Dennis Riling and Joe Jeffries from Illumitex
Priva's CEO Meiny Prins addresses the next generation grower.
Priva's CEO Meiny Prins addresses the next generation grower.
According to Prins, cities will play a key role in feeding the world.
According to Prins, cities will play a key role in feeding the world.
"In addition, Prins spoke about placing the plant in control instead of focusing on climate control. "Listen to the crop, and be active with the plant."
"In addition, Prins spoke about placing the plant in control instead of focusing on climate control. "Listen to the crop, and be active with the plant."
Autogrow's Darrynn Keiller adressed how indoor farming can contribute to reducing malnutrition in the world.
Autogrow's Darrynn Keiller adressed how indoor farming can contribute to reducing malnutrition in the world.
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Allison Kopf from Agrilyst
Allison Kopf from Agrilyst
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Three leading LED manufacturers discussed the progress that has been made in lighting application for greenhouses and vertical farms. Chris Steele of Heliospectra opened this last session of the 4th Indoor Ag-Con.
Three leading LED manufacturers discussed the progress that has been made in lighting application for greenhouses and vertical farms. Chris Steele of Heliospectra opened this last session of the 4th Indoor Ag-Con.
Chris Steele explained why Heliospecta works with an Internet of Things based development approach when creating new lighting solutions.
Chris Steele explained why Heliospecta works with an Internet of Things based development approach when creating new lighting solutions.
Philips' Gus van der Feltz shared some first results of the research from their own GrowWise City Farming center.
Philips' Gus van der Feltz shared some first results of the research from their own GrowWise City Farming center.
And last but not least: Paul Hardej from Illumitex; he explained how important it is to rethink and approach lighting design for indoor agriculture from a whole different perspective.
And last but not least: Paul Hardej from Illumitex; he explained how important it is to rethink and approach lighting design for indoor agriculture from a whole different perspective.

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