Aerofarms opens in Danville bringing over 150 new jobs

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:39 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Aerofarms celebrated its grand opening with officials and community members Monday.

Community leaders expressed their excitement for the world’s largest indoor vertical farm coming to Danville at the ribbon cutting.

“We’re tremendously excited for this moment. It means a lot to us. This is a momentous time for our company, but also for the industry. This farm is the biggest of its kind. But more importantly, the economics of building a farm at scale are attractive,” said David Rosenberg, CEO of Aerofarms.

The 150,000 square foot facility uses indoor vertical farming to grow leafy greens such as kale, spinach and broccoli. The 14 layer controlled environment can grow 300 times more than a field farm using 95% less water and zero pesticides.

“Here in a controlled environment we don’t need pesticides or herbicides,” added Rosenberg. “We don’t want those in our digestive systems as humans, so we’re able to grow without those chemicals. There’s nothing to wash off. It’s a very safe, clean product.”

Aerofarms has already hired 80 people out of the 158 they plan to employ.

“We’re hiring people at different areas of work and different areas of experience from people without skills to people that are highly skilled,” said Rosenberg. “More than anything, people are going to find that they’re inspired. They’re inspired by the innovation in their backyard. They’re inspired by people coming from all over the world to see the innovation.”

Aerofarms will bring the evolution of agriculture in the area to new heights.

“We can see industry coming to the rural parts of the community and rural parts of the state really benefits not only the entire region but also the agricultural industry as it provides more opportunities for farmers who need to work off farm,” explained Matthew Lohr, Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry.

David Rosenberg hopes to grow fruits at the Danville site in the future.