Governor Wolf Highlights Investment in Innovative Solution to Feeding the Future
Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today toured Bowery Farming’s newest vertical farm in Bethlehem and highlighted the governor’s investment in the new farm that will create at least 70 good paying jobs and help feed the 50 million people within a 200-mile radius of the farm.
“My investment in Bowery Farming supports economic revitalization for Bethlehem, creates jobs, and improves food security,” said Governor Wolf. “Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry is well known for its innovation, and Bowery will help us to continue charting a path for a sustainable, food-secure future.”
Bowery Farming is the largest vertical farming company in the United States?. The new farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is ?its largest, most technologically advanced and sustainable farm. The Governor’s Action Team worked with Bowery to set roots for its first Pennsylvania farm in the Lehigh Valley. Bowery received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $210,000 Pennsylvania First grant and a $250,000 Enterprise Zone Tax Credit through the Neighborhood Assistance Program. With this support, Bowery has constructed a 150,000 square-foot facility on 8.7 acres that will create and retain at least 70 new, full-time jobs over the next three years. The company has pledged to invest more than $30 million in this project.
“If we’ve learned anything from the past two years it is that we are in a period of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty across our climate and geopolitical circumstances, which unfortunately is going to persist. We are also seeing firsthand that our global food system is inextricably tied to these dynamics,” said Irving Fain, Founder and CEO, Bowery Farming. “At Bowery, wherever food is needed, we can grow it. We are addressing the challenges in our system by growing food smarter for more people in more places – and that work, securing food for our future, continues today with the opening of our Bethlehem Farm.”
As the projected worldwide population continues to grow, the agriculture industry must feed the world in new, innovative, and sustainable ways. Vertical and indoor farming are productive and sustainable solutions to feeding the future.
“Food security is defined as the availability, affordability, and accessibility of food. At a time when we’re all—consumers and growers alike—hurting from inflation and increasing prices, we must support the agriculture industry in new and diverse ways to ensure food security,” said Redding. “The governor’s investment in Bowery acknowledges and acts upon this need. It’s one more sign of his steadfast support for the industry that sustains us all.”
Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry contributes $132.5 billion to the economy and supports more than 590,000 jobs. Ensuring the industry’s continued success has been a priority for Governor Wolf since taking office. After writing a six-point plan for Pennsylvania agriculture, the Wolf Administration developed the first-ever Pennsylvania Farm Bill which Governor Wolf signed in 2019. Since then, the PA Farm Bill has invested more than $53 million into Pennsylvania agriculture.