Agriculture Economy

An eastern Kentucky agritech company is breaking ground on a third greenhouse in the region after cutting the ribbon on one greenhouse and breaking ground on another last week. AppHarvest said Monday that the planned 15-acre facility in Berea will use recycled rainwater like the company’s other facilities.

The company recently cut the ribbon on a 2.76-million square foot greenhouse growing tomatoes in Morehead and broke ground on another similarly-sized greenhouse in Madison County. The facility near Berea will be used to produce leafy greens. 

“Leafy greens are grown almost exclusively in states with little water and then travel thousands of miles to most Americans. We’re working to create a more resilient American food system, and water usage is at the heart of the issue,” AppHarvest CEO Jonathan Webb said in a statement.

AppHarvest claims that because of the greenhouse locations in Central Appalachia, the company can reduce transportation costs by up to 80% by being able to reach the large majority of Americans within a day’s drive. The company has attracted more than $150 million in investment from various investors in a little over two years, including an investment fund associated with investor and author J.D. Vance

Liam Niemeyer covers agriculture and infrastructure issues for the ReSource from partner station WKMS in Murray, KY.