HAMILTON — You might not give a lot thought to the place the greens in your plate come from, however one company with Montana roots has, and it’s setting its sights on altering agriculture by bringing innovation to indoor farming.
Local Bounti constructed its first giant state-of-the art-greenhouse in Hamilton and has plans for a number of extra in the Northwest because it prepares to go public in coming weeks.
“Indoor agriculture is here to stay. It will make a big impact in the food supply globally,” says Craig Hurlbert, co-founder and co-CEO.
Hurlbert grew up in Billings and helped lead Billings West to a state basketball title in 1980. He’s one of many prime novice senior golfers in the nation, however his file as a enterprise chief and entrepreneur is simply as spectacular.
Now he’s hoping to become a recreation changer in the world of managed setting agriculture.
“The world’s going to need 70% more food in just 30 years and yet we’ve lost about 40% of the land that’s farmable,” says Hurlbert.
He began Local Bounti along with his finest buddy Travis Joyner about three and a half years in the past.
The company grows leafy greens, like lettuce and herbs, indoors with know-how that mixes vertical and horizontal greenhouse farming. It supplies some huge benefits to conventional farming together with larger yields and fewer pressure on sources.
“Our technology uses 90 to 95% less water, 90% less land, no herbicides pesticides and year-round production. It’s just a much better product than we’ve been used to, and it’s grown more sustainably,” says Hurlbert.
Another huge benefit is a faster journey from the greenhouse to the shop after which to client’s tables, not like meals that’s grown in the fields and infrequently sits in a refrigeration unit for days after it’s picked and cleaned, then is usually trucked 1000’s of miles. That means a longer life for the produce.
“Our head of lettuce that is barely been touched by a human hand doesn’t even need to be washed. It could go straight from our facility into a package into your home and that product can last three to five weeks in your refrigerator,” Hurlbert said.
Hurlbert hopes that will also make a difference when it comes to the problem of food waste.
Local Bounti has big expansion plans in the future. The company’s second greenhouse will be built in Pasco, Washington, with others to follow, likely in Denver and then Reno, Nevada.
“It is really exciting to be doing it right here in the great state of Montana as a starting point for us,” says Hurlbert.