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Indoor vertical farm to create 300 jobs, $300 million campus in Chesterfield County

Crystal Graham

plenty chesterfield county The California-based Plenty Unlimited Inc. announced plans to build an indoor vertical farming campus in in Chesterfield County’s Meadowville Technology Park.

The $300 million investment will grow clean, flavorful produce year-round on its more than 30-foot grow towers on the Richmond farm campus.

The farm will be completed in multiple phases over the next six years, creating more than 300 full-time jobs.

The company’s first farm on this site, a dedicated Driscoll’s berry farm to be completed by winter 2023-2024, will be the first to grow indoor, vertically farmed strawberries at scale.

The company recently secured $400 million in a Series E financing round, the largest investment to date for an indoor farming company.

“Plenty’s decision to establish its first major East Coast vertical farming campus in Virginia shines a spotlight on the advantages that make the Commonwealth the best location in the nation for companies growing our food safely and sustainably indoors,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin. “This transformational project further bolsters Virginia’s agriculture and technology industries and positions the Commonwealth as a leader in this next generation of agriculture.”

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said that “indoor farming is fundamentally changing agribusiness with environmentally and socially responsible farming technologies.”

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr said companies like Plenty are providing we can grow produce year-round in a way “that is also dramatically better for our environment.”

“Technological advancement is what drives the industry of agriculture forward, so I am thrilled Virginia is playing a leading role in the indoor farming revolution that is changing, for the better, where much of our food is coming from,” Lohr said.

Founded in 2014, Plenty is rewriting the rules of agriculture through its advanced technology platform that can grow fresh produce anywhere in the world, year-round, with peak-season quality and up to 350x more yield per acre than conventional farms. Plenty operates the largest-of-its-kind indoor plant science research facility in Laramie, Wyo., and is currently building the world’s most advanced, vertical indoor farm in Compton, Calif.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Chesterfield County, the Greater Richmond Partnership and Dominion Energy to secure the project for Virginia.

Gov. Youngkin approved a $2.4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s opportunity fund, as well as a $500,000 grant from the governor’s agriculture and forestry industries development fund to assist Chesterfield County in winning this project for Virginia.

The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development zone grant program, as well as the major business facility job tax credit for new, full-time jobs created.

Support for Plenty’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia talent accelerator program.

For more information on Plenty, visit plenty.ag

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.