Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced that Better Future Farms, Inc. (website) will build a new hydroponic greenhouse and processing facility in Louisa County Industrial Air Park. This will bring the county tens of millions of dollars in new capital investment while creating local year-round jobs. The facility is expected to produce several million pounds of leafy greens annually at total capacity, with a sales agreement with Taylor Farms, the nation’s most enormous salad, and fresh-cut vegetable producer.
This innovative project further solidifies Virginia’s position as a national leader in indoor agricultural production. In addition, constructing this state-of-the-art facility will improve water efficiency and reduce the carbon impact of food miles. The project has received support from various state agencies, including the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), along with a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund.
The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program will also support Better Future Farms’ job creation, with workforce initiatives created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners. All program services will be provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.
“This project exemplifies agricultural innovation,” said Louisa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Duane Adams. “We are pleased this facility will bring new job opportunities for our residents while affirming the county’s commitment to agribusinesses as a growing and vital part of our local economy.” This project significantly boosts Louisa County and is a strategic investment in Virginia’s largest private industry.
A Case Study On Virginia’s CEA Ecosystem
Virginia is rapidly becoming a go-to location for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) businesses.
Companies like ISO Group, AeroFarms, Plenty, Gotham Greens, and Soli Organic have set up operations or invested heavily in Virginia, creating new jobs and boosting the economy. Virginia offers a business-friendly environment, a skilled and educated workforce, and excellent transport infrastructure. Virginia’s largest private industry is the state’s agricultural industry, contributing $82.3 billion to the economy and employing 381,800 people.
However, farmland in Virginia is under threat, with only 8.3 million acres remaining compared to 13.5 million acres in 1960. Charitable donations and conservation easements can entitle farmers to significant tax benefits, an essential financial tool for farmers in Virginia, according to various reports.
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