RICGov. Glenn Youngkin, R-Virginia, issued the following news release on July 26, 2022:
Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced that AeroFarms, a Certified B Corporation and world leader in indoor vertical farming, will create sixty-six additional new jobs and increase production of freshly-grown leafy greens as part of a major operational expansion of its new vertical farm in Pittsylvania County. This farm, a 138,670 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, is the world's largest indoor vertical farm of its kind. These new hiring commitments are in addition to the 92 jobs pledged previously to be located in Cane Creek Centre, a joint industrial park owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County. This expansion is being driven by the company's decision to expand production to meet increased customer demand. Virginia successfully competed against other states for the project.
"Virginia continues to be the premier location for companies using technology and innovation to become leaders in their industry by generating massive benefits to consumers and investors," said Governor Glenn Youngkin. "I want to thank AeroFarms for their continued commitment to the Commonwealth and commend Danville-Pittsylvania County for their cooperative and highly-effective approach to economic development that will create new jobs and economic opportunities for Virginians."
"Technology has always been the central force driving agriculture forward. This is especially true in the fast-growing indoor agriculture industry, which has the potential to revolutionize how much of our food is produced," said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matt Lohr. "We are grateful that AeroFarms continues to choose Virginia as a partner in bringing this exciting technology to scale and look forward to their continued growth and success in the Commonwealth."
"The agriculture industry continues to play a significant role in the growth of Virginia's economy, and we congratulate AeroFarms on the expansion of its state-of-the-art facility in Pittsylvania County," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. "The Commonwealth's innovative corporate partners are making major technology advancements in this important sector, and we look forward to AeroFarms' next chapter of growth."
"We want to thank Governor Youngkin and the entire State of Virginia for their tremendous support in bringing AeroFarms to Danville, and Danville-Pittsylvania County," said Co-Founder and CEO David Rosenberg. "There is an incredible spirit of partnership here that made us feel right at home as we built our latest world-class commercial indoor vertical farm to serve the community with fresh, safely grown, nutritious, and delicious leafy greens all year round."
"As one of the global leaders in indoor vertical farming, AeroFarms is a truly innovative and successful company, and I am so pleased that they are continuing to grow their operations right here in Pittsylvania County," said Vic Ingram, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facility Authority. "It is always special when an existing local company commits to continuing to grow and invest in our community. To have AeroFarms choose to continue expanding here is a testament to both the success and strong market position of the company and to the great business environment we have developed here in Danville and Pittsylvania County. Congratulations AeroFarms!"
"With the tremendous growth and success AeroFarms is experiencing, we are thrilled with their announcement of additional new jobs. It demonstrates their commitment that Danville-Pittsylvania County is an excellent location to do business. Their ability to adapt production to fill the market demands for the freshest, most flavorful leafy greens speaks to the vision and insight of the company. We are truly grateful AeroFarms will employ so many people in our community," said Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones.
"AeroFarms' innovative approach to indoor farming has transformed the industry for nearly two decades," said Linda Green, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. "Their location in one of the Commonwealth's strongest agricultural regions, adjacent to the research capabilities of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research and Virginia Tech's Controlled Environment Agriculture Center further illustrates their commitment to keep the company on the cusp of new innovation to catapult the growth of vertical farming. We are excited about their continued growth and appreciate their commitment to grow in Danville-Pittsylvania."
"By creating high-paying, technically-demanding agricultural jobs in our community, AeroFarms is proving that agriculture is not just part of this region's history, but will continue to be an important part of its future as well," said Senator Frank Ruff. "I am proud of the work we have done over the years to promote both our agricultural economy and invest in the high-tech jobs of the future, so it is especially rewarding when an industry-leading company like AeroFarms recognizes the value of these investments by committing to furthering their growth in southside."
"I was excited in 2019 when AeroFarms first announced they would be establishing the world's biggest and most advanced indoor vertical farm in the Danville-Pittsylvania region, but I am even more pleased to hear that the company is already expanding," said Delegate Danny Marshall. "Economic development is more than just winning big projects, it is about supporting the companies you already have and creating an environment that is conducive to their growth. I am proud to see that our region does both and that now our communities, our Commonwealth and especially our working families, are benefiting."
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and Pittsylvania County to secure this project for Virginia. Governor Youngkin approved a $33,000 grant from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Pittsylvania County will match with local funds. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Job Creation Grant program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Founded in 2004 and headquartered in New Jersey, AeroFarms is a purpose-driven company, with a mission to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity. AeroFarms has been leading the way to elevate agriculture with people and the planet in mind, helping address climate change by enabling local production with no pesticides ever to grow safe, nutritious, and delicious food all year round. AeroFarms is both a change-the-world technology company and an award-winning brand that is reimagining the way food is grown and celebrating its full FlavorSpectrum(TM) of flavorful possibilities.
The new AeroFarms indoor vertical farm in Virginia will distribute primarily to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast markets with the ability to reach approximately 50 million people located within a day's drive and over 1,000 retailers. This distribution will build on AeroFarms' existing relationships with retailers such as Ahold Delhaize, Amazon Fresh, Harris Teeter, The Fresh Market, Weee!, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market.
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Original text here: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/news-releases/2022/july/name-937612-en.html