Gov. Andy Beshear opens hands-on, high-tech experience for Madison Central High students
APRIL 22, 2021 — RICHMOND, KENTUCKY — AgTech leader AppHarvest today announced the expansion of the company’s educational high-tech container farm program for Eastern Kentucky high school students, with a new container farm unit to open at Madison Central High School in Richmond, Ky.
The Earth Day event included a visit by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who offered remarks to the school students and faculty in attendance.
“AppHarvest has been reimagining and reinventing sustainable food production at its state-of-the-art facility in Morehead. With the opening of the company’s container farm classroom at Madison Central High School, AppHarvest is showing its commitment to the Commonwealth runs both strong and deep,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “This living, teaching lab will inspire and engage Kentucky students to learn about cutting-edge technology that will become the basis of the jobs of the future. Thank you to Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb and his team for making education and Kentucky students a priority in his plans for success.”
Launched in 2018, the container farm program demonstrates AppHarvest’s ongoing commitment to fostering interest in high-tech farming as it seeks to create America’s AgTech capital from within Appalachia. Each retrofitted shipping container serves as a hands-on agricultural classroom for students, allowing them to grow and provide fresh leafy greens to their classmates and those in need in their communities. The company has previously opened container farms in Eastern Kentucky at Breathitt High School in Jackson, Shelby Valley High School in Pikeville and Rowan County Senior High School in Morehead, the site of the company’s flagship farm.
The container farm is 2,880 cubic feet, weighs 7.5 tons and includes space to grow up to 4,608 seedlings and 8,800 mature plants all at once using 440 vertical crop columns. The container’s unique design uses cutting-edge LED lighting and a closed-loop irrigation system to allow students to grow more than traditional open-field agriculture. For instance, they can grow up to 940 full heads of lettuce, or 1,570 miniature heads, as part of a single crop.
“We knew long before opening our Morehead farm that we wanted to invest in the region to help grow our growers and build on the many outstanding community and education programs focused on creating a more resilient Appalachian economy,” Webb said. “The technology in each of these container farms is a good example of what AppHarvest’s modern farmers use daily on a larger scale.”
Coupled with educational curriculum, the AppHarvest container farm program teaches students how to make healthy eating decisions.
“This is an incredibly valuable opportunity for our students to apply the knowledge gained in their science and agri-science coursework into real-life practice,” said Madison County Superintendent David Gilliam. “This will have a huge impact on how Madison County approaches workforce development and will lift career aspirations for our students.”
The Madison Central High School container program will be led by agriculture teacher and FFA adviser Derek Adams.
“Our students are looking forward to getting hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology that will better prepare them for career opportunities in the agriculture industry,” Adams said. “They are especially eager to see the leafy greens come full circle from farm to table in their own school cafeteria.”
AppHarvest is an applied technology company building some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms in Appalachia that grow non-GMO, chemical pesticide-free produce using 90% less water than open-field agriculture and only recycled rainwater while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture on the same amount of land with zero agricultural runoff. The company combines conventional agricultural techniques with cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence and robotics to improve access for all to nutritious food, farming more sustainably, building a domestic food supply, and increasing investment in Appalachia. The company’s 60-acre Morehead, Ky. facility is among the largest indoor farms in the U.S. For more information, visit https://www.appharvest.com/.
Certain statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. All statements, other than statements of present or historical fact included in this press release, regarding AppHarvest’s future financial performance, as well as AppHarvest’s growth plans and strategy, ability to capitalize on commercial opportunities, future operations, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of AppHarvest’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of AppHarvest. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in the Registration Statement on Form S-1 (No. 333-252964) filed with the SEC by AppHarvest on February 10, 2021 under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents AppHarvest has filed, or that AppHarvest will file, with the SEC. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect AppHarvest’s expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. AppHarvest anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its assessments to change. However, while AppHarvest may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, AppHarvest specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing AppHarvest’s assessments of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.