Scottish agricultural infrastructure supplier Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has signed a new partnership agreement with US firm HarvestUp, the smart farming business, to build a vertical farm at a Missouri technical college campus.
This significant investment comprises four of IGS’ 40ft High-Growth Towers and will be based at the Ranken Technical College Campus in Ashland, which is currently under construction. It will provide the college’s students with a workforce learning environment where they can learn about vertical farming, IT, construction and HVAC systems as part of their agricultural studies, focusing on honing practical and technical skills.
The vertical farm will grow a variety of crops including leafy greens, herbs and microgreens. In addition to providing a hands-on learning environment for students, produce from the farm will also be sold to the local community through grocery retailers and Missouri distributors. Construction of the vertical farm is expected to begin in early 2023.
HarvestUp CEO David Westhoff, said: “The HarvestUp team is ready to bring a new industry to Mid-Missouri. HarvestUp, Smart Farming, will create new jobs and unique educational opportunities while contributing to our community’s health and wellness. We appreciate the partnerships built with IGS and Ranken Technical College to further vertical farming.”
David Farquhar, CEO of Intelligent Growth Solutions, added: “It’s exciting to see training institutions like Ranken partnering with forward-thinking, entrepreneurial businesses like HarvestUp to build a highly skilled workforce capable of driving the future of vertical farming production.
“Growing in controlled indoor environments is still relatively new to the agriculture sector so it’s vital that we’re engaging young people and showcasing the wide variety of employer opportunities available in the sector. We’re delighted that HarvestUp has chosen IGS’ technology to be at the heart of this partnership and hope it will inspire the next generation of agricultural innovators.”
Don Pohl, President of Ranken Technical College, added: “Ranken is always excited to partner with industry to provide real world work experience for our students. We are committed to providing the comprehensive education and training necessary to prepare our students for great technical careers!“