Dig Into the Future of Indoor Farming

Added Value Day

Vertical and indoor farming are among the fastest growing segments of the agriculture industry, valued at $106 billion as of 2017 and expected to grow at 3.4% annually going forward. Right now, North America accounts for more than 44% of the market. But consumer demand is the key to unlocking this market. How do farms make certain they are producing what consumers demand? What do cities, grocery stores, restaurants, private equity, and developers interested in the coming boom in indoor farming need to know today?

At this special add-on session on Thursday, May 16 you’ll learn about:

  • Best practices in indoor farming that are helping control costs
  • Leaders and innovators at the forefront of the industry
  • Technology on the horizon that will help increase yield, improve nutrition, and deliver addictive flavor
  • The factors that are holding back access to expansion capital for indoor farmers, startups, and other innovators.

And it all ends up at a private catered BBQ at the
Memphis in May World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest.

Agenda

 

7:00 am – Breakfast and Registration

8:00 am – Opening Remarks and Setting the Stage for the Indoor Farming Workshop

Allison Kopf, Founder & CEO, Agrilyst

8:15 am – Indoor farming or controlled environment farming can take many forms – aquaponic, hydroponic, greenhouse, vertical, etc. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, but how do we make clear decisions when we take into consideration crop type, location, budget, customization, etc? Fundamentally, how does someone make the decision on which system to use and are there situations where one system makes more sense than another?

Jason Green, CEO, EdenWorks
Djavid Abraham, Lead System Design, Agritecture
David Goldstein, Farm Operations Manager, Teens for Food Justice

Moderator
Connie Bowen, Executive Director, The Yield Lab Institute

9:00 am – Group Discussion: Indoor farming is great and all, but at what point does a retailer, wholesaler or restaurant decide to buy products from an indoor growing operation? What are the incentives driving current purchase decisions? What are the challenges? What have we learned from the early adopters of indoor grown products?

Vonnie Estes, VP of Technology, Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Tom Thompson, Owner/Vice President, Golden Sun Marketing
Sarah Sanders, Co-Founder, NativeAg

Moderator
Peter Webb, Business Development, Hussman

9:45 am – Coffee/Networking Break

10:00 am – System design is incredibly important to a successful, profitable and sustainable indoor growing operation. So, now that you’ve picked a system, you have to run it. What technologies are important for your greenhouse? Why? What problems are solved? What potential pitfalls are there with implementation?

Peter Webb, Business Development, Hussmann
Jessica Vaughan, Grower Consultant, Lumigrow
Rob Trice, Founder & Partner, Better Food Ventures
Henry Sztul, SVP of Science & Technology, Bowery

Moderator
Allison Kopf, Founder & CEO, Agrilyst

10:45 am – Group Discussion: One consideration when designing the build for an indoor growing operation is whether to retrofit an existing facility, or to build a new one entirely. When considering retrofitting vs. an entirely new building, which is smarter from an ROI perspective? Why? Where is retrofit an opportunity and where/when do new buildings make sense?

Sam Schatz, Managing Director of Corporate Development, Aerofarms
Julia Kurnik, Director of Innovation Start-ups, World Wildlife Fund
Caleb Park, Associate, Cushman Wakefield Advisors

Moderator
Djavid Abraham, Lead System Design, Agritecture Consulting

11:30 pm – Snack and Networking

12:00 pm – Group Discussion: Indoor farming projects are notoriously capital intensive and quick to scare off investors. Yet, there is an undeniable opportunity to invest in a potentially very disruptive technology with meaningful impacts. From an investor’s perspective, what do growers need to do in order to be financeable? What makes a financeable project? What are some common misconceptions about investing in indoor farming projects?

Sam Schatz, Managing Director of Corporate Development, Aerofarms
Nicola Kerslake, Founder, Contain Inc.
Nick Houshower, VP, Equilibrium Capital

Moderator
Rob Trice, Founder & Partner, Better Food Ventures 

1:00 pm – With indoor growing, we can operate with far greater environmental control than ever before, impacting everything from yield, to resource consumption, to nutrition, to taste. But how fine tuned can these “Growing Recipes” become? What’s capable as far as taste and nutrition? What else can we grow indoors that we aren’t already and can you grow it as efficiently/nutritiously as outdoor production?

Henry Sztul, SVP of Science & Technology, Bowery
Jessica Vaughan, Grower Consultant, Lumigrow
Jonathan Mein, Southeast US Commercial Lead (Vegetables Division), Bayer

Moderator
Vonnie Estes, VP of Technology, Produce Marketing Association

1:45 pm – Closing Remarks: Lessons learned and key takeaways from the day’s sessions. How do we chart a path forward?

Rob Trice, Founder and Partner, Better Food Ventures

2:00 pm – Barbeque

Speakers

Allison Kopf

Allison Kopf

Agrilyst

Jason Green

Jason Green

EdenWorks

Djavid Abraham

Djavid Abraham

Agritecture

David Goldstein

David Goldstein

Teens for Food Justice

Connie Bowen

Connie Bowen

The Yield Lab Institute

Vonnie Estes

Vonnie Estes

Produce Marketing Association

Tom Thompson

Tom Thompson

Golden Sun Marketing

Sarah Sanders

Sarah Sanders

NativeAg

Peter Webb

Peter Webb

Hussman

Jessica Vaughan

Jessica Vaughan

Lumigrow

Rob Trice

Rob Trice

Better Food Ventures

Sam Schatz

Sam Schatz

Aerofarms

Julia Kurnik

Julia Kurnik

World Wildlife Fund

Nicola Kerslake

Nicola Kerslake

Contain Inc.

Nick Houshower

Nick Houshower

Equilibrium Capital

Henry Sztul

Henry Sztul

Bowery