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FSG Attends Launch of AgTech Education Program Container Farm

Last month, on a beautiful Appalachian morning with a touch of autumn in the air, FSG’s Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Innovation Bernie Erickson joined FSG’s Director of Horticulture Christopher Hinshaw for a visit to Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, Kentucky.  

The occasion marked an important milestone: the official launch of the AppHarvest Foundation’s 10th high-tech container farm in support of the foundation’s AgTech Education Program.

On hand for the event were local civic and business officials, school administrators, teachers, excited FFA students, representatives from the offices of Kentucky Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, and members of the AppHarvest Foundation team.

The AppHarvest Foundation AgTech Education Program provides area schools with specially retrofitted shipping containers that are immediately ready to serve as mobile controlled environment agriculture (CEA) classrooms.  

Bernie Erickson, FSG’s Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Innovation students from Johnson Central High School
Source: FSG Media

Giving Students the Opportunity to Make a Difference

The program is helping local FFA students understand the possibilities and career options associated with the latest ag technology.  Best of all, the vegetables grown in each school’s high-tech vertical farm are proudly served in the school’s cafeteria, with extra inventory offered for sale at local farmers’ markets and school fundraisers. 

For the Johnson Central FFA program, a unique community partnership is already in place to support the students and their new indoor vertical farm.  Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) was on hand at the dedication ceremony to present a $10,000 check to the school and to announce that vegetables grown in the new container farm will be served at ARH’s local hospital cafeteria.  

“The AgTech Education Program will provide students with a STEM-based, entrepreneurial experience that ties directly to some of our society’s biggest issues, including ever-increasing demands on our food system. Student farmers will grow salad greens for both their school and Appalachian Regional Healthcare cafeterias, creating a direct local impact”

Amy Samples
AppHarvest Foundation Director and Vice President of Community Outreach

Talking with the talented young FFA students at Johnson Central High School, it became clear that tomorrow’s CEA industry leaders are already making plans.  The high school students talked about building on their experiences at their new AppHarvest container farm, and about their desire to apply those lessons on a larger scale.  

They spoke about building and working for businesses that provide superior food using 90% less water.  They also outlined the future they want to build, where exciting careers and fresh, healthy food choices actively redefine the face of American opportunity.

CEA – An Inspirational Industry

After the dedication ceremony, in meetings with AppHarvest CEO Jonathan Webb and other members of the AppHarvest team, all parties understood that the way forward for CEA involves visionary leadership and strategic partnership.

In the end, the visit was more than just inspirational for FSG.  The late September trip to Paintsville, Kentucky reminded everyone that vision and hard work still connect opportunities with accomplishments.

FSG’s Director of Horticulture Christopher Hinshaw joined Bernie Erickson at the event.
Source: FSG Media

FSG would like to thank everybody at the App Harvest Foundation for their generous Appalachian hospitality.

Through its Horticulture Lighting division, FSG supports indoor farmers across the country with the latest LED grow lighting and control systems that are currently transforming the CEA industry.  Find out more by visiting our website or giving us a call at (877) 293-6689.

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