US (VI): New farm to be constructed in Herndon

Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday announced that Beanstalk, an indoor vertical farming start-up, will create 29 new jobs and invest more than $2 million to significantly expand production and relocate in Herndon.

The company’s new facility will produce a variety of leafy greens and specialty herbs year-round using proprietary hydroponic growing technology, achieving annual sales of over $5 million in the next three years. Beanstalk sells its fresh salad mixes and fresh-cut herbs through national grocery retailers, Northern Virginia farmers markets, and its on-site retail store.

“Fairfax County is the perfect place for a startup like Beanstalk to put down roots and grow their company,” Northam said. “We are pleased to support a project that blends agriculture, Virginia’s oldest and largest industry, with technology, one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy. Innovative entrepreneurs like Mike and Jack Ross are demonstrating how STEM fields can help cultivate new techniques like hydroponics that make fresh produce more accessible.”

Founders Mike and Jack Ross have notable engineering experience and a keen interest in the local food movement and solving problems of the modern food system. Mike is an aerospace engineer, who previously built artificial intelligence software for an entertainment company and lead the development of a digital platform for an international grocer. Jack, a computer engineer who built an iOS app at age 16 with more than half a million users, was recognized by Northam with the prestigious STEM Catalyst Award in 2018 for the development of an automated indoor growing prototype.

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