80 Acres Farms planning for new NKY operation creating 125 jobs

A rendering of 80 Acres Farms' planned new facility in Northern Kentucky.
A rendering of 80 Acres Farms' planned new facility in Northern Kentucky.(80 Acres/Provided)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 3:01 PM EST
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BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (WXIX) - 80 Acres Farms is moving ahead with plans to open a new vertical farming facility in Boone County that will create 125 jobs with a $74 million investment.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced continued growth within Kentucky’s agritech sector on Thursday.

“Opening a farm in Boone County will allow us to grow closer to our retail partners in Lexington and Louisville and introduce our fresh, healthy, locally grown produce to many more Kentuckians,” said 80 Acres CEO Mike Zelkind. “We’re always looking for ways to increase our impact, and this farm is the biggest step forward for us yet, more than doubling our total production and growing our footprint outside Ohio.”

The operation will locate in an existing 200,000-square-foot building on more than 22 acres.

The facility will be converted into a vertical farming operation to serve the local market and is expected to begin operations in Q3 2022.

It will include a high-tech indoor vertical farm and harvesting, packaging and distribution capabilities for leafy greens, microgreens, berries and tomatoes.

Once fully operational, the controlled-environment farm will produce millions of servings of local, fresh produce for the surrounding area.

“80 Acres is on an impressive growth trajectory, and we are thrilled to have their first location in Kentucky in Boone County,” Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore said. “We welcome the 125 new, high-paying agribusiness jobs and the first high-tech, vertical indoor farm in Northern Kentucky.”

The jobs that come with the vertical farming facility pay an average of $45/hour and include benefits, according to the governor’s office.

Gov. Beshear also announced Thursday that Levi Strauss & Co. is opening a distribution center in Erlanger.

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