By Melissa Thomas (IEDC)—
DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. —Living Greens Farm, the largest indoor vertical aeroponic farm in the U.S., announced plans today to locate operations in Delaware County, creating up to 120 new jobs by the end of 2024.
“Indiana’s central location, strong agriculture sector and business-friendly climate make the Hoosier state the perfect place for companies like Living Greens Farm to put down roots,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “As a state, we’re committed to creating an environment that enables companies like Living Greens Farm to scale operations, while continuing to innovate and grow agtech solutions geared toward a 21st century economy.”
Living Greens Farm, which is headquartered in Minnesota, will invest nearly $70 million to establish a 200,000-square-foot farming, processing and packaging facility at 2450 W. Fuson Road in Muncie. The indoor farm will feature smart automation at crop seeding, transplanting, harvesting, processing and packaging steps, which will allow growers to fully realize the natural potential of crops grown in an efficient, high-speed manner. It will also enable the company to expand its bagged salad and salad kit offerings to retailers and consumers across the Midwest and Midsouth regions of the country. The new facility is expected to be fully operational by early 2023.
“The Muncie facility is in an ideal location to begin our national geographical expansion,” said George Pastrana, CEO of Living Greens Farm. “It will help us to better supply our current retail partners, such as Walmart, Whole Foods, HyVee, UNFI and others, as well as allow expansion into additional leading retail and wholesale operations across the Midwest. I wish to thank the fine people of Muncie and Delaware County for the work they put into making this new farm a reality. As we are from a rural town in Minnesota, they made us feel that Muncie would be exactly the environment that would work well for us.”
The company, which currently employs more than 60 associates in Minnesota and Illinois, will begin hiring in Muncie for production, processing, shipping, management and administrative roles starting in Q2 2022. Interested applicants may apply online once jobs have been posted.
The farm in Muncie, which is among multiple state-of-the-art facilities the company plans to open across the U.S. in coming years, will use an advanced farming system requiring significantly less water than traditional farming methods, saving 103 million gallons per year (the equivalent of 156 Olympic-size pools). The facility will have capacity to grow and harvest nearly 5 million pounds of pesticide-free leafy greens each year and provide the company’s fresh salads, from harvest to shelf within 24 hours, to metropolitan areas across the Midwest.
“We are so pleased to have the Living Greens Farm investment in Delaware County,” said Delaware County Commissioner President Sherry Riggin. “Diversification of industry in our community is incredibly important. The leafy greens product is a wonderful addition, and we’re happy to welcome them to the county.”
Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in Living Greens Farm Inc. of up to $925,000 in conditional tax credits. The IEDC also committed up to $100,000 from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made.
Delaware County approved additional performance-based incentives at the request of the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance.
About Living Greens Farm
Headquartered in Minnesota, Living Greens Farm is the world’s largest vertical plane aeroponic farm. Living Greens Farm produce requires 95 percent less water and 99 percent less land to grow year-round and all products are grown without pesticides or GMOs. Living Greens Farm has a full product line that includes salads, microgreens, and herbs available throughout the Midwest. For more information, please visit livinggreensfarm.com.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is charged with growing the State economy, driving economic development, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Led by Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, @SecChambersIN, and governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, @GovHolcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit iedc.in.gov.
About the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance
The Alliance (EDA) represents a consortium of economic development entities dedicated to the growth and prosperity of Muncie-Delaware County, Indiana. Our purpose is to allocate and leverage economic development resources to sustain and enhance the economic growth, vitality and global competitiveness of Muncie-Delaware County as a superior business location. Services include site location assistance, retention and expansion of existing businesses, and customized research for business prospects considering Muncie-Delaware County, Indiana. The EDA’s administrative entities are Delaware Advancement Corporation and the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.