AgriBusiness Cultures Partnerships

Colo. Electric Co-op, FarmBox Foods Partner to Grow Trees for Reforestation

FarmBox Foods Reforestation Program

A groundbreaking project will plant 15,000 trees in Colorado.

CORE Electric Cooperative and FarmBox Foods have established a ground-breaking reforestation program that employs innovation to attain a new level of environmental stewardship.

In order to grow trees in a Vertical Hydroponic Farm housed inside an old, insulated shipping container, the electricity provider signed a contract on November 17 with FarmBox Foods, a Colorado-based manufacturer of controlled-climate farms. The trees will be used by CORE to restore forests in its service area, which is 5,000 square miles along the Front Range of Colorado.

According to Jeff Baudier, CEO of CORE Electric Cooperative, “CORE’s relationship with FarmBox to assist reforestation activities in our service zone improves our endeavor to be good stewards of the environment. As a member-owned cooperative, safeguarding the environment in the areas where we operate and live is central to our purpose. CORE intends to plant 15,000 blue spruces and ponderosa pines, both Colorado native species, in the first three years of the effort.”

The controlled-climate container farm operated by FarmBox Foods started successfully producing tree seedlings and saplings in 2021, but the Vertical Hydroponic Farm acquired by CORE is the first to be devoted exclusively to the multiplication of trees. According to the terms of the deal, FarmBox Foods will run the indoor tree farm at its headquarters in Sedalia and carry out research on growth factors including lighting, nutritional dosage, and drought resilience. After that, the trees will be moved to hoop homes so that their root systems may expand before being planted.

According to FarmBox Foods CEO Rusty Walker, “We’re incredibly pleased to see the great outcomes that will result from this unusual cooperation. CORE acknowledges its contribution to the preservation of healthy forests, and I believe that moving future, other electric cooperatives will look to it as a model.”

According to a statement from the cooperative, the cooperation enables CORE to “do its role in preserving its service territory lovely for generations of future members.” CORE eliminates vegetation in a responsible manner to maintain powerline corridors as secure and risk-free as possible. Rehabilitating places that have been destroyed by wildfires is receiving fresh attention as a result.

According to Amber King, CORE’s communications manager, “This groundbreaking program exemplifies how CORE is paving the way to a more sustainable future and our mission of innovation.”

CORE Electric will collaborate with neighborhood partners to identify areas in need of reforestation. CORE Electric provides the energy that powers FarmBox Foods’ operating farms that grow wholesome produce in Sedalia.

Image provided by FarmBox Foods

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