Automated indoor farm opening in Cincinnati

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CINCINNATI — 80 Acres Farms is building a fully-automated indoor farm in the southeast part of Cincinnati.

The initial phase is expected to be completed later this year. It will feature state-of-the-art grow centers to produce specialty greens that include microgreens, culinary herbs, leafy greens and kale.

The company plans three additional phases at the Hamilton site. When completed the project will comprise over 150,000 square feet of fully-automated indoor farming, also known as controlled environmental agriculture (CEA).

Produce grown at the Hamilton site will supply Whole Foods Markets, Dorothy Lane Markets, Jungle Jims, U.S. Foods, and other retailers and foodservice distributors.

80 Acres Farms currently serves Cincinnati-area customers from its facility in the Cincinnati region where it grows microgreens, culinary herbs, leafy lettuce, kale, vine crops like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.

“With the Hamilton facility, we will achieve the next generation of indoor vertical farming using best-of-breed technology,” said Mike Zelkind, co-founder and chief executive officer of 80 Acres Farms.

“This project will deliver our proof of concept that indoor farming can be fully-automated, commercially scalable, higher-yielding and profitable.”

Zelkind said the new site will be a prototype for the company’s plans to co-locate similar facilities with commercial customers in other parts of the country.

The Hamilton site will be automated, from seeding to growing to harvesting. 80 Acres Farms personnel will manage the Hamilton facility, which will feature robotics, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and around-the-clock monitoring sensors and control systems to optimize every aspect of growing produce indoors.

80 Acres Farms is headquartered in the Spring Grove community of Cincinnati, where the company was founded in 2015. It now employs more than 60 people in Cincinnati and other company R&D, engineering and production facilities in three other states.

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