Home Virginia expands agricultural exemptions; indoor vertical farm to benefit from tax relief

Virginia expands agricultural exemptions; indoor vertical farm to benefit from tax relief

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An indoor vertical farm in Prince William County will build its second farm and distribution facility in Manassas.

Beanstalk Farms announced the expansion on Friday after legislation was signed providing tax-relief measures for the controlled environment agriculture, or CEA, industry in Virginia. The project will result in 18 new jobs and be an investment of just over $4 million.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed the bill which allows localities to exempt farm equipment of CEAs from personal property taxes or adopt a reduced rate. The same exemption provisions already exist for traditional agricultural operations.

This is the second year that Youngkin has signed agricultural technology tax exemption legislation. In 2023, the Governor signed legislation to exempt items used in the construction of controlled environment agriculture facilities from sales taxes.

“This is a great day for the future of controlled environment agriculture in Virginia. We are providing support for Beanstalk Farms expansion, encouraging investment in Prince William County and creating high paying jobs to this area through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund grant award,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “In addition, Governor Youngkin is helping to spur growth in this industry by expanding tax relief through the approval of the agricultural sales tax exemption legislation last year and his signature today on the tangible personal property tax relief legislation.”

Beanstalk Farms Inc. will build its second vertical farm in the Freedom I-66 Industrial Business Park. The farm expects to produce 2.1 million pounds annually of leafy greens and fresh-cut herbs.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our next-generation farm in Manassas. At a 10x lower cost per acre than any other vertical farm, this facility demonstrates a new generation for indoor farming,” said Beanstalk Farms Co-Founder and CEO Mike Ross. “Our innovative, soil-based and pesticide-free approach sets a new benchmark in sustainable agriculture.

“This facility will provide the D.C. market with the highest quality fresh produce every week of the year – rain or shine.”

The Commonwealth is partnering with Prince William County and Beanstalk Farms through a Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development $100,000 grant. Prince William County will match the grant with local funds.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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