Vertical Farming Podcast

Harry Duran

Vertical farming is a revolutionary approach to produce production leveraging controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology and systems in innovative ways. It facilitates production of huge quantities of nutritious and quality fresh food without relying on favorable weather, high water usage, skilled labor, and high soil fertility. This ensures reliable yield and consistency in crop production year-round with climate control, and no effects of external environment factors such as diseases, pests, or predator attacks. Join Harry Duran, Host of the Apple-recommended Podcast Junkies and Founder of FullCast, as he explores the world of controlled-environment agriculture (CEA). Tune in every week for fascinating conversations with CEOs, Founders and luminaries from the exciting and fast-growing world of Vertical Farming. If you've been interested in the world of Indoor AgTech and want to hear inspiring stories from the innovators on the frontlines of this fast-moving industry, then this most definitely the show for you! Subscribe and learn more by visiting http://verticalfarmingpodcast.com/ This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy read less
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Episodes

S10E132 Shlomy Raziel / Growth Tech - From Kibbutz Fields to Vertical Farming Success
May 8 2024
S10E132 Shlomy Raziel / Growth Tech - From Kibbutz Fields to Vertical Farming Success
In this episode, I speak with Shlomy Raziel, the visionary behind Grow-Tec, joining us all the way from Israel. Shlomy shares his deeply rooted connection to agriculture, tracing back to his childhood in a Kibbutz and his family’s pioneering spirit in farming. His journey from managing large-scale agricultural projects to founding Grow-Tec is not just a career path but a continuation of a legacy. We dive into how his company is innovating in the vertical farming space, particularly focusing on fruiting vegetables, a challenging yet rewarding venture that sets them apart in the industry. Shlomy’s insights into the evolution of vertical farming are grounded in practicality and a clear vision for the future. He emphasizes the importance of collaboration within the industry to overcome common challenges like energy costs, climate control, and labor. His approach is refreshingly open, advocating for shared progress over competition. This conversation isn’t just about the technicalities of indoor farming; it’s a testament to how a passion rooted in tradition can foster innovation that might just change the world of agriculture. Join us to hear how Shlomy Raziel is not only navigating but also shaping the future of farming with thoughtful technology and a community-focused mindset.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:03:38 - The Idea and Vision Behind Growth Tech 00:07:11 - Experiences in Kibbutz and Early Innovations 00:13:44 - Changes and Adaptations in Business Model Over Time 00:18:36 - Lessons Learned and Growth as a Leader 00:23:08 - Perspective on the Vertical Farming Industry 00:36:04 - Message to Peers in the Indoor Farming SpaceTweetable Quotes"I was born and raised in a Kibbutz, just ten minutes from my office. From childhood, I was deeply involved in agriculture, starting with open field orchards and later moving on to greenhouses and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) projects after university." "Big companies do great work with technology for the mainstream, but there's a lack of solutions for tailor-made projects. I found a niche in creating specific, precise solutions not just for mainstream agriculture but for unique, smaller-scale projects that big companies overlook." "The future of vertical farming should involve more collaboration. We need to establish forums and associations to share knowledge and technology openly. Improving key aspects like lighting, HVAC systems, and reducing manpower through automation benefits everyone in the industry, not just individual companies."Resources MentionedWesbite - https://grow-tec.com/ Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/@grow-tec8331 LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/grow-tec Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/growtecc Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/grow.tec.verticalfarming/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/GrowtecRPConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn -
S10E131 Kaylee South / Virginia Tech - Sharing a Passion for CEA and Inspiring the Next Generation of Plant Scientists
Apr 19 2024
S10E131 Kaylee South / Virginia Tech - Sharing a Passion for CEA and Inspiring the Next Generation of Plant Scientists
In this episode, I speak with Kaylee South, an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) at Virginia Tech. Kaylee shares her journey from a rural upbringing, where her passion for horticulture was nurtured by family and educators, to her current role where she combines research with teaching the next generation of horticulturists. We dive into how her work not only involves growing plants but also exploring innovative agricultural methods and improving plant resilience through scientific research. Kaylee’s story is a testament to the impact of early exposure to agriculture and the profound influence of mentors.Our conversation also explores the broader implications of CEA in revitalizing urban spaces and enhancing educational programs. Kaylee highlights the potential of vertical farming to transform underutilized buildings into productive agricultural sites, offering fresh perspectives on sustainable urban development. She emphasizes the importance of industry-academia collaboration in advancing CEA technologies and practices. This episode is packed with insights not just about plant science but also about the evolving role of agriculture in addressing contemporary challenges. Whether you're an industry professional or simply curious about the future of farming, Kaylee’s experiences and insights underscore the dynamic nature of agricultural science and its critical role in shaping sustainable futures.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:06:27 - Application of Research in Real-world Settings00:13:34 - Involvement in CEA Summit and Indoor Ag-Con00:14:08 - Differences Between CEA Summit East and Other Conferences00:29:10 - Interest and Opportunities in Vertical Farming00:35:23 - Future Research Directions and Challenges00:39:15 - Increasing Interest in CEA Among StudentsTweetable Quotes"I grew up helping my parents and grandparents in their gardens, which sparked my passion for horticulture. My high school agriculture teacher, Mr. Minyard, particularly encouraged me by involving me in greenhouse work, which solidified my love for working with plants.""My dissertation research involved using beneficial bacteria to improve plant defense against pathogens, specifically targeting botrytis cinerea, a common issue in greenhouse production. This research aimed to explore biocontrol agents and biostimulants to enhance plant growth and disease resistance.""Vertical farming offers unique opportunities, especially in urban settings where traditional farming isn't feasible. It's exciting to see interest from various sectors, including education, where vertical farms are used as tools for teaching and engaging students in agriculture and science."Resources MentionedTwitter - https://twitter.com/south_kayleeLinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaylee-south/Connect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/direct/inbox/VFP Facebook -...
S10E130 David Flynn / AmplifiedAg - Pioneering Vertical Farming and Tackling Food Deserts
Apr 12 2024
S10E130 David Flynn / AmplifiedAg - Pioneering Vertical Farming and Tackling Food Deserts
In this episode, I speak with David Flynn, Vice President of Business Development at AmplifiedAg, and what a journey it's been! David shares his transition from military service to the world of vertical farming, and it's a testament to the power of mission-driven work. His experiences in Afghanistan, witnessing firsthand the struggles and triumphs of local agriculture, have fueled his passion for bringing fresh food to those in need. It's not every day you meet someone who's as dedicated to making a difference as David is.We dive into the nitty-gritty of AmplifiedAg's technology, from their propagation containers to their high-yield production units. David's insights into the challenges of energy costs and the need for industry-wide collaboration are eye-opening. It's clear that this isn't just about growing lettuce; it's about community, sustainability, and tackling food insecurity head-on. If you're curious about the future of controlled environment agriculture and the people who are pushing its boundaries, you won't want to miss this conversation. David's story is a reminder that with the right technology and a lot of heart, we can make a real impact, one container farm at a time.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:03:55: Transition from Military to Agriculture Technology00:06:02: The Evolution of AmplifiedAg and Vertical Roots00:10:53: Impact of COVID-19 on Business Operations00:16:23: Observations on the Growth of the C EA Industry00:21:20: AmplifiedAg's Current Size and Product Offerings00:34:51: The Importance of Industry Transparency and CollaborationTweetable Quotes"I don't believe in coincidences, per se. When I moved to Charleston, I met Don Taylor, who's the founder of our company, AmplifiedAg. He painted a vision of marrying technology with agriculture, trying to do good things with technology and agriculture, promoting businesses, job development, and providing fresh food to people in need.""The biggest conversion we made was from an Aeroponics system to a Nutrient Film Technique system using crop king gutters in a stacked formation inside of our containers. That really was a game changer for us.""The core mission of the company was to provide safe access to fresh food globally. We're working with foundations across the country, non-governmental organizations trying to solve food insecurity. We're driven right now to look for opportunities to be a system integrator, to bring food security, help leverage food security for people in need."Resources MentionedWebsite - https://amplifiedaginc.com/Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/amplifiedaginc/Twitter - https://twitter.com/amplifiedagincLinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/amplifiedagYoutube - https://www.youtube.com/@amplifiedagConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter -
S10E129 Whit Allen / SpectraGrow - From Turntables to Vertical Farms: The Rhythms of Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture
Apr 2 2024
S10E129 Whit Allen / SpectraGrow - From Turntables to Vertical Farms: The Rhythms of Innovation and Sustainability in Agriculture
In this episode, I speak with Whit Allen, the charismatic CEO of SpectraGrow, as we dive into a world where the rhythm of music intertwines with the innovation of agriculture. It's a conversation that takes us from energy of DJing to the vibrant greenery of vertical farms. We reminisce about our days behind the decks and reveal how those experiences have given us a unique tempo for tackling the professional challenges we face today. Whit brings a refreshing perspective on the journey from spinning records to advocating for clean technology in Washington D.C., and how every step has influenced the birth and growth of SpectraGrow.The power of collaboration shines through in our chat, from the influence of mastermind groups to the shared problem-solving that’s steering the industry towards sustainable success. You'll hear firsthand about the nitty-gritty of lighting innovation, the significance of strategic planning for farm setups, and the camaraderie that's sprouting among agri-tech leaders in Colorado and beyond. Join me for an episode that celebrates the progress and growth at the heart of urban farming.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 Connecting Music and Agriculture09:38 Career Evolution and Clean Tech Lobbying16:19 Origin and Ideal Clients of SpectraGrow27:53 LED Innovation and Energy Efficiency31:34 Collaboration and Growth in Vertical Farming44:18 Power of Mastermind GroupsTweetable Quotes"When I took a course called Truth, Love, and Marketing here in Boulder, one of the exercises was to describe your creative process. It was so easy to describe my creative process with DJing and music, and then I saw the parallels in how I bring that creative energy to launching an entrepreneurial company. How we market, how we sell, how we talk about what we do—it all has roots in that creative process from music.""We often make recommendations to relay out a farm based on lighting, and we show that if we reorganize the farm in a certain way, we could get much better performance out of the lighting strategy. My advice is always to bring us in as early as possible in the planning process because our ability to add value decreases the later we're brought into the project.""The intuition is a huge part of decision-making in business, and it's a weird word to use because people in business like spreadsheets, they like numbers, they like analysis. But at the end of the day, you have to interpret the data, and there's a point where you've got to trust other sensors that might not be so obvious that you could put on a spreadsheet, but are important things to consider."Resources MentionedWebsite - https://www.spectragrow.comInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/spectragrow_incFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/spectragrowLinkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/company/spectragrowYoutube - https://www.youtube.com/@spectragrowConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn -
S10E128 Katherine Soll / Teens for Food Justice - Building a Resilient Food Future & Growing Young Minds
Mar 21 2024
S10E128 Katherine Soll / Teens for Food Justice - Building a Resilient Food Future & Growing Young Minds
In this episode, I speak with Katherine Soll , a powerhouse of knowledge and change in the realm of urban agriculture. She takes us through her inspiring journey from her New York City upbringing to her influential role as the founder and CEO of Teens for Food Justice.With a nod to Agritechture’s Henry Gordon- Smith for his support and insight, Katherine and I delve into the transformative world of hydroponic farms, the importance of food equity, and the incredible shift from food deserts to the more nuanced concept of food apartheid. It's a conversation that's not only about the growth of plants but also about the growth of young minds and communities.We really dig into what it takes to cultivate an organization that stands firm against the winds of challenge. Katherine 's narrative is a testament to the resilience needed to lead such impactful work, and her experiences offer a treasure trove of wisdom on nurturing the next generation of leaders.By integrating technology with hands-on education, Katherine 's team is planting the seeds for a greener, more equitable NYC, and beyond. It's a tale of hope, hard work, and the harvest that comes from truly rooting for change.Join us as we explore the greening of urban spaces and the empowerment of youth in a movement that's redefining our relationship with food and community.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 Growing Up in NYC10:25 Evolution of Teens for Food Justice17:26 Building Resilient Community Farming Organization25:09 Urban Farming Impact and Student Success30:33 Expanding Urban Agriculture and Food Access35:46 Letting Go and Trusting Your Team41:19 Navigating Mission Creep in Vertical Farming46:15 Teen Food Justice Organization PromotionTweetable Quotes"One of the things that was really amazing about growing up in New York, I think, was the level of independence that you have when you're really very young. Being able to walk to school by yourself, go places with your friends by yourself, that independence gives you a perspective on the world that's really different than when you grow up in a car culture.""I think that service is an incredible way to get people to look outside of their own self and their own interests and to understand that we're only going to thrive if we're all thriving together.""I think that if you never have the experience of really needing to show that level of vulnerability and see that you're gonna survive, that yeah, you miss something. I think that's a really important honing process that has served me. It was extremely hard, but again, I try to approach things by saying what is the beneficial lying underneath this thing that didn't go the way I planned."Resources MentionedWebsite - https://teensforfoodjustice.org/Twitter - https://twitter.com/tffjinitiativeInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/teensforfoodjustice/?hl=enFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/katherine.soll/Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/company/teensforfoodjustice/Youtube -
S10E127 Rick Vanzura / Freight Farms - Buliding a Resilient Food Future & Collaborative Partners
Mar 8 2024
S10E127 Rick Vanzura / Freight Farms - Buliding a Resilient Food Future & Collaborative Partners
In this episode, I speak with Rick Vanzura, CEO of Freight Farms, who takes us on a captivating journey from his days in the retail trenches to becoming a trailblazer in the vertical farming industry. Rick’s transformation from working with household names like Borders Group and Panera Bread to redefining local food systems with Freight Farms is nothing short of inspiring. He generously shares his Bostonian roots and the pivotal encounters that shaped his business acumen, particularly a chance meeting with Jeff Bezos that reshaped his view on potential versus present limitations. It's a tale that’s as much about personal evolution as it is about the growing promise of urban agriculture.Dive into the world of vertical farming as Rick lays out the complexities of supply chain management and the innovative strides Freight Farms is making in controlled environment agriculture. Our discussion navigates through the importance of industry collaboration, learning from mistakes, and creating a culture that empowers and educates. Rick's blueprint for success isn’t just about thriving in business; it's about building a resilient and sustainable future for food production. So, if you're curious about the inner workings of vertical farming and how leaders like Rick are steering this burgeoning industry, you'll want to tune in. This conversation is an eye-opener for anyone interested in the intersection of entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 Innovation and Collaboration in Vertical Farming09:48 Collaboration and Progress in Farming15:31 Challenges and Opportunities in Vertical Farming26:35 Vertical Farming Industry Trends and Leadership32:11 Leadership in Vertical Farming CollaborationTweetable Quotes"We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children, and here's our chance to play our role in paying back a little for our kids, which in so many ways I think is important.""The right model is definitely going to be co-opetition. We have to recognize we all need to develop and protect stuff that makes us unique and special, but at the same time, we're all going to benefit from things like common R&D and industry standards.""If you really focus on where that huge opportunity lies, that was a big part of what brought me to Freight Farms. Understanding how big the potential could be, I never again am going to allow myself to be short sighted and overly analytical about where something is today versus thinking about what can be in the future."Resources MentionedWebsite - https://www.freightfarms.com/Twitter - https://twitter.com/FreightFarmsInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/freightfarms/?hl=enFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/freightfarms/Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/company/freight-farms/Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/c/FreightfarmsConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn -
S10E126 Alex Babich / Nuravine - Cultivating the Future: From Startup Entrepreneur to AI-Driven CEA Innovator
Feb 21 2024
S10E126 Alex Babich / Nuravine - Cultivating the Future: From Startup Entrepreneur to AI-Driven CEA Innovator
In this episode, I speak with Alex Babich, who's pioneering the agricultural tech revolution with his startup, Nuravine. We dive into Alex's childhood, his journey through self-education and college, and the formative experiences that led him to combine technology with sustainable farming. Alex's vision of AI-driven vertical farms is a game-changer for the future of agriculture, and it was an absolute pleasure to get an insider's look at how he's bringing this vision to life.Hearing Alex detail the steps of Nuravine's evolution, from its inception during a college competition to the resilient growth during COVID, truly showcases the spirit of entrepreneurship. His insights into the fusion of computer engineering with agriculture and the potential of AI to revolutionize farming practices are inspiring.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 Growing Up in NYC and Carmel08:11 Future City With Vertical Farming12:39 The Journey of Nuravine22:41 Choosing Between Pump Systems in Agriculture26:39 Cannabis Entrepreneurship and Pump Systems29:42 Building Nuravine35:38 The Advanced and Flexible Dosing System41:15 Continuous Nutrient Dosing in Farming Benefits45:56 Expanding Product Development and Funding Opportunities54:52 AI and the Future of Farming01:00:11 Connecting With NuravineTweetable Quotes"I love learning math, I want to understand it all, and I started to have this vision of, I really want to know math because I want to like look outside and I want to see equations, I want to see the world in a mathematical way.""There are enough resources on earth for everyone to have a very high standard of living and in a certain sense, the monetary system can get in the way of that.""They have a competition where you could either win 25,000 or 50,000 dollars. And I went to him and I asked, do you want to start a business together?"Resources MentionedNuravine Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/nuravine/Personal Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/alex.babich/Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-babich-nuravine/Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/@nuravine7984Website - https://nuravine.com/Connect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/direct/inbox/VFP Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/VerticalFarmPodVertical Farming Jobs - http://verticalfarmingjobs.comVertical Farming Weekly -
S10E125 Daniel Plant / Plant Dynamics - The Unconventional Path From the Armed Forces to AgTech Strategist
Feb 16 2024
S10E125 Daniel Plant / Plant Dynamics - The Unconventional Path From the Armed Forces to AgTech Strategist
In this episode, I speak with Daniel Plant, the inspiring mind behind Plant Dynamics, as we delve into his remarkable transition from the disciplined life of the Canadian Armed Forces to becoming a consultant in the agtech space. Daniel's unique journey has not only shaped a resilient work ethic but has also carved out an innovative path in the world of modern farming. Through his stories, we uncover how embracing a global perspective can significantly influence both personal growth and professional endeavors. It's not every day you meet someone who can seamlessly merge military precision with the dynamic needs of an agtech consultancy, and Daniel's experiences offer invaluable lessons for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact.We'll navigate the intricate transformation of Plant Dynamics from its early days to its current role as a guiding light in agtech strategy. Daniel generously shares the hurdles and triumphs encountered along the way, including adapting to the startup culture and confronting challenges like the global pandemic and shifting supply chains. As we explore the future of CEA, Daniel's insights into the critical importance of data and clear business communication illuminate the path forward for the industry. This conversation is a must-listen for those curious about the intersection of agriculture, technology, and business strategy, as we connect the dots between resilience, innovation, and the drive to revolutionize farming practices.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 Exploring Worldview and Career Choices16:13 The Evolution of Plant Dynamics25:10 Shift Towards Detailed Microeconomics in AgTech36:13 Challenges and Opportunities in CEA Development44:56 Communication Challenges in the CEA Industry52:14 Advancing CEA Infrastructure for Fresh ProduceTweetable Quotes"What pays for the nation's bills is the earnings of the people. And if you do all kinds of analysis on this question different places, different points of time what determines GDP per capita you will find that the most powerful explanatory variable is the cost of extracting energy.""Now I am seeing a big shift from scale to super detailed microeconomics and unit economics... there's now, I think, full appreciation that you need to come in and have some kind of a corporate structure around your production facility, which includes sales and marketing and should include offtake agreements, such that you have a business plan that is more than just a design of a facility before you begin.""I want to make economics more actionable because it is very helpful. It can clarify strategy. But how you bridge that gap, to take something that feels so esoteric and far-flung from the immediate problems people are trying to address, and communicate it in a simple way that it can be adopted that's always a challenge."Resources MentionedWebsite - https://www.plantdynamics.co/Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/danplant/Connect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/direct/inbox/VFP
S10E124 Joe Swartz / AmHydro - The Evolution of Farming Through a Hydroponic Lens
Feb 7 2024
S10E124 Joe Swartz / AmHydro - The Evolution of Farming Through a Hydroponic Lens
In this eye-opening episode, I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with the hydroponic maestro himself, Joe Swartz. Joe brings a wealth of knowledge to the table, drawing from nearly four decades of experience in the realm of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). With Joe's guidance, we journey through the evolution of farming, bursting myths like bubbles and paving a clear path through the oft-misunderstood landscape of hydroponic agriculture. He shares his rich history, from traditional farming roots to the forefront of agricultural innovation, and reminds us that while the tools may change, the core principles of good farming remain steadfast. Joe's candid insights and personal anecdotes truly bring the conversation to life, offering a treasure trove of green wisdom that's both grounding and revolutionary.Diving into the nitty-gritty of indoor vertical farming, Joe unravels the complexities with the finesse of a seasoned expert. He doesn't shy away from the hard truths, confronting the economic and logistical challenges head-on and providing a balanced view that blends caution with optimism. As Joe unveils AmHydro's cutting-edge contributions—think AI, machine learning, and automation—it's hard not to feel a surge of excitement for the future of farming. Yet, he encourages a healthy skepticism and the importance of validating technology's promise, ensuring we remain rooted in practical, successful practices. By the end of our talk, I was left feeling incredibly inspired and humbled by the depth of knowledge Joe imparted. This is an episode brimming with valuable takeaways for anyone curious about the future of sustainable agriculture. So join us as we cultivate not just crops, but a flourishing community of knowledge-seekers in this dynamic field.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 The Journey of a Hydroponic Farmer14:00 Myths and Mistakes in CEA Industry23:00 Challenges and Myths of Vertical Farming26:34 Cyclical Indoor Farming Technologies30:57 AmHydro's Tools for Growers45:41 Indoor Farming Tips and Wisdom53:29 Social Media and YouTube for AmHydroTweetable Quotes"The process that makes up traditional farming are no different... We're using different tools, but the process is exactly the same.""The idea of CEA controlled environment agriculture really, again, it's not about technology. It's about taking the equipment, the tools, the methods, the technologies that we have available and farming with them. Agriculture.""We're not trying to develop a technology and say, hey, buy our technology because it's really cool. We actually wanna come to the industry and say, here's a tool that we've developed based on your needs, based on where your pain points are."Resources MentionedEmail - Joe@AmHydro.comTwitter - https://twitter.com/HydroConsultant Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/joeswartz1325/Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-swartz-5549331a/Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/@AmericanHydroponicsConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn -
S10E123 Viktor Kulcsar / Veles Farming - Growing Saffron in the Cradle of Civilization
Jan 31 2024
S10E123 Viktor Kulcsar / Veles Farming - Growing Saffron in the Cradle of Civilization
This week I speak with Viktor Kulcsar, Co-Founder of Veles Farming. From a childhood in post-Soviet Slovakia to challenging cultural norms and diving into entrepreneurship, Victor's story is one of ambition. Victor opens up about the early struggles of being a young entrepreneur in a region with little support for startups, the invaluable lessons from mentors, and the importance of collaboration and shared knowledge – all while forging a path in the exciting world of saffron cultivation.Ever wondered what it takes to bring a luxury spice like saffron to your table, and how authenticity and quality can be guaranteed? Victor provides a fascinating look into the meticulous process of educating the market, navigating the challenges of direct-to-consumer sales, and building trust within high-end culinary circles. He shares industry insights on sourcing, the potential of indoor farming, and the cultural significance of this ancient crop. We discuss transparency in the supply chain and the value of traditional knowledge blended with cutting-edge cultivation techniques.As we look to the future of vertical farming with Victor, he talks about the importance of effective leadership and fostering a culture of openness to tackling significant challenges like capital expenditure and energy costs. Victor's enthusiasm for the potential of indoor agriculture – from enhancing flavors in gastronomy to meeting pharmaceutical industry standards – is contagious, offering listeners a compelling glimpse into not only the present landscape but also the boundless possibilities for growth and innovation in CEA.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 Entrepreneurship and Vertical Farming Journey07:20 Learning and Collaboration in Business Growth14:28 Education and Marketing of Saffron Challenges21:18 Saffron Farm CEO Discusses Industry Insights29:20 Relationships in Business37:36 Challenges and Growth in Vertical Farming43:46 The Future of Vertical FarmingTweetable Quotes“I need to get off my competitiveness in some way and I found business, a way to where I can do this."“It's very hard in the beginning to get it running. But I think when you get the first results in the first section and then it's so snowballs into a big thing."Resources MentionedWebsite - https://velesfarming.com/Email - viktor.kulcsar@velesfarming.comLinkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/viktor-kulcsar-089b02175Connect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/direct/inbox/VFP Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/VerticalFarmPodVertical Farming Jobs - http://verticalfarmingjobs.comVertical Farming Weekly -
S10E122 Felipe Hernandez / Hexagro - The Rise of Urban Aeroponics
Jan 20 2024
S10E122 Felipe Hernandez / Hexagro - The Rise of Urban Aeroponics
Embark on a remarkable adventure with Felipe Hernandez, the visionary Founder and CEO of Hexagro, as he chronicles his evolution from an industrial designer in Colombia to a trailblazer in Milan's growing vertical farming industry. Felipe's inspiring tale captures the essence of innovation and determination, guiding us through the creation of Hexagro—an endeavor to democratize aeroponic technology. His story is a testament to the power of marrying design with practical agricultural solutions, and his Hexagro platform stands as a beacon of urban farming potential, inviting city dwellers to reconnect with nature through the simplicity of Poty and the sophistication of Clovy, both models with specific uses.As Felipe unfolds the nuances of Hexagro's user-centric approach, you’ll be captivated by the role of biomimicry in design and how it breathes life into urban farming. The conversation extends into the digital realm, highlighting the integral companion app that serves as a gardener's best friend, offering a chatbot, plant care tips, and delightful recipes. With an open platform philosophy, Felipe emphasizes the importance of local resources and community input in refining Hexagro's offerings, painting a picture of an ecosystem where growth is nurtured by the collective genius of its participants.The finale of our journey with Felipe does not shy away from the grit and resilience that define startup success, especially in the face of the pandemic's adversities. He shares candid insights about the power of mentorship, the intricacies of fundraising in the Italian startup landscape, and the significance of cultivating a community-driven growth model. Join us and discover how you can contribute to a movement that's reshaping our relationship with the food we eat and the communities we cherish.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways00:00 From Industrial Design to Vertical Farming15:33 Biomimicry, Vertical Farming, and Product Development31:17 Overcoming Challenges and Building Resilience36:48 Vertical Farming Industry and Its Challenges45:11 Join Our Urban Farming CommunityTweetable Quotes"We shouldn't try to disconnect people from farming, because we have been doing it since thousands of years.""It's a huge potential of impact that agriculture has because it's a holistic topic. It regards the side engineering, agronomy, biology, sociology, economics, everything. So for me, it's super stimulating to learn of so different topics and see how they can change and how they have impacted societies.""Since billions of years, there is a complex, very smart designer finding solutions to solve problems, to adapt to different needs. These organisms that have evolved over time are able to solve different types of challenges with certain strategies that preserve energy and are very efficient."Resources MentionedHexagro - https://www.hexagro.io/Felipe's Email - f.hernandez@hexagro.ioFelipe's Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hexagro.io/Felipe's Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hexagro.ioFelipe's Linkedin -
S9E121 REPLAY Tristan Fischer / Fischer Farms - A Looming Food Crisis, Sustainability, & Building a Culture of Kindness
Dec 28 2023
S9E121 REPLAY Tristan Fischer / Fischer Farms - A Looming Food Crisis, Sustainability, & Building a Culture of Kindness
Tristan Fischer has been involved in sustainable energy and sustainable food for over twenty years. He has been the Chairman or CEO of numerous companies, including Fischer Farms, a vertical farming/hydroponics business. Today, Tristan joins the show to discuss the benefits of vertical farm crops over field-grown crops, the looming food security crisis, and the importance of being a kind and empathetic leaderThanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways07:13 – Tristan Fischer joins the show to share his background in finance, the evolution of renewables, and his passion for sustainability17:15 – Vertical farming crops vs. field-grown crops21:54 – Feeding the world: Tristan’s vertical farming origin story31:16 – The inspiration to launch Fischer Farms and how Tristan has grown as a CEO42:12 – The importance of being kind and empathetic45:08 – Fischer Farms’ offerings and ideal clients48:56 – A tough question Tristan has had to ask himself recently51:43 – A specific ask Tristan has for his colleagues in the vertical farming industry52:37 – Harry thanks Tristan for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can go to connect with him and learn more about Fischer FarmsTweetable Quotes“If you want to do good in the world, you also need to actually be profitable and develop businesses that are intrinsically capitalistic. Using capital to grow and having a business which is purely based on charitable activity isn’t good enough if you want to make a difference.” (10:52) (Tristan)“When I was first doing solar projects, solar really wasn’t a great technology. Wind wasn’t really a great technology. It was expensive. It was intermittent. And, if you move on to twenty years after I started and you look in the UK now, the new wind energy systems that are coming onstream are the lowest cost electricity in the market, with the exception of solar.” (14:35) (Tristan)“The quality that you get from vertical farming is just better than the quality that you get from a field-grown crop. It’s tastier, has a longer shelf life, is more nutritious, it has a lower environmental footprint. There’s just a whole long list of reasons why vertical farm products are better than field-grown crops.” (18:35) (Tristan)“About twenty-five percent of all the world’s food production comes from land which uses aquifer water for irrigation. And, in about twenty years time, in most of the world where they have that type of system, that water will be gone or unusable.” (24:53) (Tristan)“I think that ultimately what you’re trying to do as a CEO is get the best out of your team because, ultimately, you need them. They are the specialists. They are the ones who understand the lighting, the water systems, the technology, and the growing.” (36:10) (Tristan)“I think that, as a CEO, creating that culture is very important. A culture of trust, of openness,and dare I say, of kindness, and love, and affection. We want people to be nice to each other, tobe good to each other, because if they are nice and good to each other, the more likely they areto cooperate and help each other out. And that’s what it’s all about really.” (41:48) (Tristan)Resources MentionedTristan’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tristanfischer/? originalSubdomain=ukFischer Farms –
S9E120 Karla Garcia / Hort Americas - From Microgreens in Mexico to Educating New Indoor Farmers
Dec 8 2023
S9E120 Karla Garcia / Hort Americas - From Microgreens in Mexico to Educating New Indoor Farmers
Ever wished you could peek into the mind of a successful vertical farming entrepreneur? Our guest Karla Garcia shares here love for plant physiology and how it guided her to the realm of vertical farming. From her childhood influences to her current role as a technical services specialist at Hort Americas in Mexico, Karla's story is a testament to the power of passion and hard work.As Karla shares her experiences, we shed light on the trending shift towards vertical farming among the younger generation. The focus is changing from merely seeking jobs to pioneering businesses in controlled environment agriculture. We also touch on the growing vertical farming community in Mexico, which is championing collaboration and growth. Hear about the sweat and resilience required to carve out a niche in this industry and the boundless opportunities that lie in wait.Lastly, we delve into Karla's personal life, discussing the crucial balance between work and passion, the importance of wise planning, and making informed investments in the vertical farming industry. Karla underscores the significance of starting small, learning on the go, and structuring your business intelligently. The conversation wraps up with Karla extending an open invitation to connect on Instagram and the Hort Americas website for those keen on learning more about the horticulture industry in Mexico. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of the world of vertical farming and harvest some invaluable advice for anyone interested in this burgeoning industry.Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamIndoor AgConKey Takeaways00:00 Entrepreneurial Journey in Plant Science06:43 Starting a Microgreens Business With Hort Americas20:15 Shift Towards Interest in Vertical Farming24:48 Vertical Farming and Teaching Passion31:34 Work-Life Balance in Vertical Farming38:16 Connecting With Karla for More InformationTweetable Quotes"When applying knowledge, you get to know a lot. I would I love to analyze data, for example. So every time that I have data from my business or even from other people's business, for me that's really exciting because you get to know how the plant is behaving and what things you can do inside of the greenhouse or the plant factory in order to adjust everything.""If you have a goal, you find a way. So I think that's really important too, and I have seen that when helping my friends and different people in different businesses. That's really important because sometimes we give up before trying enough.""I think vertical farming is very helpful, but we need to evaluate the projects in advance, because some of the projects are very big and very ambitious and we don't have at that time a history on how to do business with that kind of company."Resources MentionedHort Americas - https://hortamericas.com/Karla's Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/karla-garcia-8abb1213bKarla's Email - pakarla11@email.arizona.eduConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram -
S9E119 Jonah Krochmalnek / Microgreens Consulting - Turning Green: A Finance Graduate's Venture into Microgreens Farming
Nov 24 2023
S9E119 Jonah Krochmalnek / Microgreens Consulting - Turning Green: A Finance Graduate's Venture into Microgreens Farming
Ready to journey into the heart of nature and discover the green world of microgreens? Prepare to be inspired by financial graduate turned passionate farmer, Jonah Krochmalnek. He takes us through his life journey, from his humble beginnings starting a microgreens business in his parent's spare bedroom, to figuring out the market demand and different strategies that helped him succeed in the microgreens industry. His experiences, trials, and triumphs will be a guiding light for other budding entrepreneurs. Jonah Krochmalnek's passion doesn't end with farming; he also reveals how he navigated COVID-19's impact on his business, Living Earth Farm, while juggling other tasks like managing an Airbnb property and building a course. Hear about his process of selling his business, the importance of finding the right buyer, and his fascinating transition into creating a microgreens consulting company and podcast. His insights on these experiences provide valuable lessons on how to handle business during trying times. Finally, join us as we discuss the personal side of entrepreneurship -- the challenges one faces when balancing personal life, business, and family. Jonah shares his personal development journey, the benefits he reaped from meditation and books, and the lessons from his podcast Microgreens Mastery. This chat is packed with golden nuggets for entrepreneurs in the vertical farming space, so don't miss out! As Jonah says, "business is a journey, not a destination," and we invite you to embark on this journey with us. Find more about Jonah and the microgreens industry across various resources and platforms mentioned in the podcast. Tune in now!Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamIndoor AgConKey Takeaways00:00 Passion for Growing Food and Farming09:01 Market Demand and Adapting Strategies16:44 High Quality Microgreens and Successful Business25:08 Navigating Challenges and Finding Balance31:00 Sell Business and Transition to New Ventures42:08 Business and Personal Life Challenges49:27 Connecting for Microgreens InformationTweetable Quotes"So much wisdom and beauty in living with the speed of nature rather than the speed of a city.""You know, all this knowledge I've accumulated is so valuable to other people because they can skip all the steps that I had to take to get where I needed to go, all the failures along the way.""I think it's just very fulfilling to see these farms that I work with and see how much easier life can be with having the right information or having the right equipment and how much time they can save."Resources MentionedJonah's Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonah-krochmalnek- b84941223Jonah's Email - jonah.krochmalnek@gmail.comMicrogreen Consulting - https://www.microgreensconsulting.com/Living Earth Farm - https://www.livingearthfarm.ca/Connect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP...
S9E118 Christopher Thomasen / Seasony - From Engineer to Entrepreneur: The Transformational Journey and The Vision for The Future of Vertical Farming
Nov 10 2023
S9E118 Christopher Thomasen / Seasony - From Engineer to Entrepreneur: The Transformational Journey and The Vision for The Future of Vertical Farming
Can a journey encompassing exotic travels, engineering, and entrepreneurship shape the future of vertical farming? This episode unravels that mystery as we sit down with Christopher Weis Thomasen, CEO and Co-founder of Seasony. A vivid storyteller, Christopher shares his transformative experiences from Namibia to Japan, painting a vivid picture of how these encounters helped develop his entrepreneurial mindset. Moving away from traditional farming, Christopher takes us through his pivot to automation and standardization in vertical farming. The intriguing conversation touches on the challenges and benefits of adopting new technology in farming, particularly mobile robotics. His insights on transitioning small farms to automation are enlightening, putting into perspective the critical role of automation in the future of farming. As we explore the future of vertical farming, Christopher lays out his vision for localized food production, demonstrating how global trends are pushing this new norm. From the benefits of space efficiency to the practical advantages for retailers and end users, he paints a promising picture of large scale, near distribution food production. His candid advice on finding your place in the value chain and automating processes early is an invaluable takeaway. Tune in and connect with an episode that showcases the landscape of vertical farming through the lens of a savvy entrepreneur.Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamHorti Agri Next MEA Key Takeaways00:00 Entrepreneurship and Travel05:35 Robotics in Vertical Farming16:47 Automation and Standardization in Vertical Farming28:33 Engineers and Conferences in Vertical Farming32:27 Vertical Farming's Importance and Future36:50 The Future of Vertical FarmingTweetable Quotes"As an entrepreneur, I think you can get pretty caught up in working all the time, so it's nice to just plug out a little bit and basically see something else.""So if there's a lot of robotics engineers that are working on a super interesting problem that tends to attract other robotics engineers to go to that same place because here they can exchange ideas and spar with colleagues that are in the same fields.""The sooner the better. Typically. I mean we would love to get involved quite early in the process, also in the design process, to help the vertical farms actually figure out how do they design for automation in the best possible way."Resources MentionedChris' Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-weis-thomasen/Chris' Email - cht@seasony.dkConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/direct/inbox/VFP Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/VerticalFarmPodVertical Farming Jobs - http://verticalfarmingjobs.comVertical Farming Weekly -
S9E117 Jessica Gómez de la Rosa / Origeen Greener Cities - Exploring the Rise of Vertical Farming in Mexico
Nov 3 2023
S9E117 Jessica Gómez de la Rosa / Origeen Greener Cities - Exploring the Rise of Vertical Farming in Mexico
Prepare to embark on a transformative journey with Jessica Gomez de la Rosa, the innovative CEO of Origeen Greener Cities. From the vibrant buzz of Las Vegas to the concentrated energy of New York City, Jessica will guide us through her captivating discovery of Indoor AgTech and how it's revolutionizing the agricultural landscape. She unveils her ingenious system for vertical farming and surprises us with the revelation that varied crops could flourish within her carefully crafted environment. We'll then jet off to Mexico, where Jessica's groundbreaking VPOT technology is setting the stage for a vertical farming revolution. She'll lead us through the labyrinth of educating people about the benefits of hydroponic farming and showcase how this cutting-edge technology is being implemented in a variety of settings - homes, shipping containers, and greenhouses. If you're curious about the financial prospects in Mexico's vertical farming industry, Jessica's insightful analysis promises to be a treasure trove of information. As we navigate the peaks and troughs of introducing a leading-edge technology in the vertical farming space, Jessica's candid reflections on the challenges and rewards of this journey will provide invaluable insights. We'll delve into the intricacies of Origeens' distinct black and white VPOT tech, the vital role of community support in entrepreneurial endeavors, and the promising outlook for the future. Grab your headphones, this episode promises a fun ride through the world of vertical farming that you certainly don't want to miss!Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamHorti Agri Next MEA Key Takeaways02:01 - 03:00 Modular Scalable Indoor Farming System 07:21 - 08:54 Changes and Feedback on VPOT Design 13:11 - 15:05 Interest in Vertical Farming in Mexico 16:36 - 17:55 Investment Opportunities in Mexican Agriculture 21:54 - 23:07 Hydroponics and Vertical Farming Interest 26:42 - 29:15 Indoor Farming Conference in Mexico30:43 - 32:01 Vertical Farming Community in Mexico 36:13 - 36:53 Startup Space Excitement and InnovationTweetable Quotes"I've always wanted to be involved in something that can make an environmental and social impact.""When the investors and people start knowing about the benefits and start to know about the environmental and social and about food security, they will be more curious and they will be open to integrate this kind of agriculture.""I think what we need to do is create noise. As I said, the few that we are here at Mexico in vertical farming, we are trying to create or build that community, to make noise and to make people know about the benefits."Resources MentionedOrigins Greener Cities - https://www.origeen.com.mx/Indoor AgTech - https://indoor.ag/Indoor AgCon - https://indoor.ag/indoor-agcon/World AgriTech - https://worldagritechusa.com/Vertigo Pacto - https://www.vertigopacto.com/Expo Agroalimentaria Guanajuato - https://expoagrogto.com/Rijk Zwaan -
S9E116 Cody Journell / Vegg, Inc. - Revolutionizing Vertical Farming & Supporting Local Farmers
Oct 27 2023
S9E116 Cody Journell / Vegg, Inc. - Revolutionizing Vertical Farming & Supporting Local Farmers
Are you keen to discover the future of farming? Unveil the revolutionary world of vertical farming with our esteemed guest, Cody Journell, founder and CEO of Vegg, Inc. Cody, with his vast knowledge and innovative approach to Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), is pioneering a fresh perspective on how we perceive agriculture. This episode takes you on a thrilling journey into the heart of Vegg, Inc., where old school buildings transform into thriving vertical farms.Step inside the unique landscape of vertical farming as we discuss how Vegg, Inc. is changing the game with their comprehensive guidance on infrastructure development, leasing options, and revenue models. We delve into their budding relationships with regional feed hubs and how these alliances might revolutionize local farming. We also reflect on the GAP Summit and the challenges small and medium-sized farmers face. Hear directly from Cody as he offers a glimpse into his leadership journey and how he is preparing his team for an industry that is in perpetual motion.Lastly, we try to break down the intricacies of vertical farming for the everyday individual and understand the role it plays in preserving our farmlands. We evaluate how consumer habits need to change for vertical farming to be more widely accepted and discuss how the US could potentially halt the alarming loss of thousands of acres of farmland per day. Be inspired by the potential of Vegg, Inc.'s projects that aim to provide education and workforce development in rural areas. Tune in for an enlightening conversation that might just reshape your understanding of agriculture and its future.Thanks to Our SponsorsBio520AgTech Weekly Review Key Takeaways05:44 - Real Estate and Problem-Solving10:05 - Historic Tax Credits and Building Challenges15:36 - Scaling Vegg24:15 - Journey as CEO and Team Growth 29:05 - Vegg's Potential Locally and Nationally33:47 - Concept of Vertical Farming and Messaging38:53 - The Viability of Vertical Farming CareersTweetable Quotes"We're losing I think we're losing somewhere around 2,000 acres of farmland in the US per day to redevelopment. So that's 700 plus thousand a year that we're losing. Populations increasing, consumer preferences are changing. They want more food, which we have less land, and they want it grown in an environmentally friendly manner. So how are we going to solve that problem? In walks, vertical farming and CEA.""We had a family farm that was passed down through generations and generations and it's just it's not something that kids are growing up and doing now." "One of my favorite things about real estate is the fact that it is 100% what problems you can solve, whether you're successful or not. So whether it's even a transaction that you're helping someone out with, or it's a building that you're looking at to develop, or there's some zoning requirements that you have to work around, it's always a problem that's being solved and you know you solve big problems and you know big profits follow."Resources MentionedCody's Website - https://www.vegginc.com/ Cody's Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/cody-journell-8677602b Cody's Email - cjournell@vegginc.com Cody's Instagram -
S9E115: Neda Vaseghi / Microclimates - What Gets Measured Gets Managed in Vertical Farming
Oct 13 2023
S9E115: Neda Vaseghi / Microclimates - What Gets Measured Gets Managed in Vertical Farming
Are you ready to embark on a fascinating journey into the world of environmental automation technology with our captivating guest, Neda Vaseghi, the CEO of Microclimates? From the early days of Neda's life in Iran, through the trials of war, and onto her ascension in the tech industry, we explore how her past experiences have shaped her entrepreneurial drive. Join us as we venture into the heart of Microclimates, shedding light on the innovative start-up bridging the gap in Controlled Environment Agriculture operations. Neda and her business partner, Loren, share insights into the company's offerings, shedding light on the surprising lack of interconnectedness across systems, and the promising partnership with Lethbridge College. Listen as they share their educational efforts on LinkedIn and how they navigate the tech industry's challenges. As our conversation deepens, we tackle the critical issue of energy usage and conservation. We unravel the importance of understanding energy consumption at a granular level, the pros of a wireless energy management system, and the challenges faced by businesses without reliable internet. Wrapping up our insightful talk, Neda imparts her experiences in under- resourced US regions and the potential of digital transformation partnerships. From entrepreneurs to tech enthusiasts, and agtech afficionados, this episode shines an (LED) light the future of farming. Tune in, don't miss out!Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamFarmAnywhereHorti Agri Next MEA Key Takeaways0:00:05 - Microclimates and Indoor Agtech NYC Conversation0:08:25 - Iran's Cultural Richness and Entrepreneurship Journey0:13:22 - Building Business, Maintaining Friendship0:23:03 - Why Microclimates?0:36:52 - Energy Usage and Wireless Devices Focus0:41:45 - Navigating Challenges and Choices in Entrepreneurship0:51:28 - Connecting to MicroclimatesTweetable Quotes"I noticed this trend of oh my gosh, we're really faced with this issue of not having enough arable land, and there is this thing called indoor farming, which I didn't even know.""We integrate various systems together onto one dashboard and all the data is harmonized across all of them. So the customer. You know, we're hardware agnostic.""I was actually really surprised. I didn't realize that all these companies make one thing and they do one thing really well, but either they don't have an open system, they don't have an API, you can't connect systems to talk to one another."Resources MentionedNeda's Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/nedavaseghiNeda's Email - neda.vaseghi@microclimates.com Neda's Youtube -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2RYlW1JHklLceXFi7TtOOANeda's Website - www.microclimates.comConnect With UsVFP - LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/verticalfarmingpodcastVFP Twitter - https://twitter.com/VerticalFarmPodVFP Instagram -
S9E114: Chris Rawley / Harvest Returns - Sustainability, Risk Management, & Investor Education in Vertical Farming
Oct 6 2023
S9E114: Chris Rawley / Harvest Returns - Sustainability, Risk Management, & Investor Education in Vertical Farming
Ever sought the thrill of leaving the mundane behind to explore the world, only to land in the fascinating field of agriculture? Join us as we sit down with Chris Rawley, the founder and CEO of Harvest Returns, who did exactly that. Combining his experiences as a Navy veteran, a globe-trotter, and a commercial real estate investor, Chris shares his journey to bridging the gap between investors and farmers through his platform. Listen in as he delves into the transformation of farming practices due to climate change and technology. Venture with Chris as he transports us through his travels across 60 countries, sharing meals and connecting with locals. His travel tales are not only intriguing but also shed light on the stark dichotomy between food systems in developed and less fortunate countries. His stories from the open seas are captivating and humbling, reminding us of the raw beauty and power of nature. Moreover, his observations have shaped his current work in sustainable agriculture and vertical farming. In the realm of agriculture, every turn comes with its own set of challenges. Chris candidly discusses the hurdles faced in financing agriculture and the necessity of building trust in the industry. From developing different financing structures for farms to fostering relationships with different cultures, he's done it all. He also shares his insights into the struggles and triumphs of vertical farming. As we wrap up our conversation, Chris emphasizes the importance of sustainability, risk management, and investor education in farming. This intriguing conversation with Chris promises to illuminate you on the complexities and rewards of farming and sustainable agriculture. Don't miss out!Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamFarmAnywhereHorti Agri Next MEAKey Takeaways0:00:00 - Chris’ Introduction to Vertical Farming0:08:28 - Connecting Cultures Through Food and Travel0:15:33 - Challenges of Financing and Building Trust in Farming0:20:48 - Challenges and Traits of Vertical Farming0:28:19 - Considerations for Funding Indoor Farms 0:38:40 - Investor Perspective on Sustainable Agriculture0:45:25 - Cash Flow and Trust in BusinessTweetable Quotes"If you want to broaden your experience, best thing to do is go travel, just see the world.""I learned a lot about risk because we did some dangerous things, looking at what the worst case scenario is and probabilities of a failure and have tried to translate that into my business, especially on the investing side, as we look at farms that we're going to invest in.""There's a fine line between having an expensive hobby and having a business that can grow and make money for people involved. There's even more challenges because you've got investors that you have to provide a return to, and that's another thing that people don't think about when they have this sort of dream of I'm going to start a vertical farm."Resources MentionedChris' LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisrawley/Harvest Returns LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/10945364We Are the New Farmers - https://www.wearethenewfarmers.com/Chris' Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/harvestreturnsChris'...
S9E113: Tinia Pina / Re-Nuble - Cultivating Resilience: From NYC Streets to Sustainable Vertical Farms
Sep 29 2023
S9E113: Tinia Pina / Re-Nuble - Cultivating Resilience: From NYC Streets to Sustainable Vertical Farms
Can technology and privacy coexist in this rapidly evolving business landscape? This is a question we attempt to answer as we welcome Tinia Pina, the innovative Founder and CEO of Re-Nuble. Our riveting conversation explores the risks and rewards of navigating the digital world while protecting our privacy, and how we can leverage accessible technology to create sustainable products, without being swept up in the distractions of the tech world. New York’s relentless energy can be overwhelming, but it also breeds resilience. Together with Tinia, we journey through the bustling streets of the Big Apple, delving into its unique influence on its citizens. We reflect on the significance of community and how to find balance amidst the city's frenetic pace. We then steer our discussion towards the revolutionary world of renewable resources and sustainable agriculture. Tinia shares compelling anecdotes about her professional journey, the resilience that New York cultivated in her, and why she founded the New York City Agriculture Collective. The episode concludes with a fascinating discussion on the future of vertical farming, a disruptive practice that is reshaping the way we grow our food. We talk about the exciting potential of giving farmers more flexibility, from irrigation to material types. The potential of home farming and investment possibilities in produce security, particularly outside the United States, are also touched upon. Tinia's insights into these emerging trends offer a fresh perspective on the future of the industry. So join us for an episode packed with invaluable insights from a seasoned professional leading the way in the field of renewable resources and sustainable agriculture.Thanks to Our SponsorsAgTech Marketing TeamFarmAnywhereCEA Summit EastKey Takeaways0:00:03 - Technology's Impact on Privacy and Business 0:04:45 - Finding Home, Balance in New York 0:08:48 - The Evolution of Renewable 0:21:58 - Challenges and Growth in Sustainable Agriculture0:34:25 - Flexible Irrigation and Material Types 0:44:31 - The Future of Vertical FarmingTweetable Quotes"I've always needed to align my personal values with my professional work. The work that I needed to do needed to have a social mission, which is why we're a social enterprise. It's very easy and without any question, we need to have something that's going to directly give back in ways that the business can.""We're essentially a social enterprise that focuses on developing and commercializing nutrients and fiber products that are meant to use byproducts from the food production industry, as well as crop residues, to turn them into organic, renewable materials to replace mineral salts and horticultural substrates.""The biggest advantage has been for me of just removing any ego, any attachment, and I think that makes me a lot more lean. I lean into the team. I definitely create an environment where people feel like they're co-creating, they're contributing just as much as I in the sense of this is part of their vision as well."Resources MentionedTinia's Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/company/re-nubleTinia's Website - https://www.re-nuble.comTinia's Email - tinia@re-nuble.com Tinia's Twitter -