FSG was proud to attend and participate in the 10th Annual Indoor Ag-Con Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. The explosive growth of both the event and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry it supports was reflected in record numbers of exhibitors and attendees.
The sparkling Caesars Forum was the venue for this year’s convention, and once again the event was co-located with the National Grocers Association (NGA) convention taking place just a few short steps away.
The NGA convention was packed as well, and attendees of both events were able to see firsthand how many challenges were shared in common between those focused on producing our nation’s food and those working hard to market and deliver the best food products to American consumers.
One packed-house session at the NGA show asked the question “Indoor Vertical Farming: What’s the Opportunity for Grocers?” Additionally, Indoor Ag-Con event planners noted more than 200 badge scans on the Expo floor from NGA show attendees. Clearly, a growing synergy exists within the U.S. fresh food supply chain.
By any measure, this year’s Indoor Ag-Con was a clear success. Event organizers reported attendees from 48 U.S. states, various territories and the District of Columbia, and over 30 foreign countries. Attendance was up 62% over last year, and once again the show attracted C-level executives and decision makers along with growers, investors, tech providers, academic research leaders, and members of local, state, and federal government.
Beneficial Breakouts with In-Depth Conversations
The show delivered on the traditional Expo Hall experience, with 174 booths and almost as many excellent conversations to be had with product and service providers from across the CEA industry. However, the highlights of this year’s Indoor Ag-Con were to be found in the breakout sessions.
Throughout the two-day event, conference attendees could dip in and out of some seriously informative and thought-provoking conversations between industry professionals working at the very top of their game. The panelists assembled for this year’s show included some of CEA’s top innovators and long-term practitioners, and their ideas and experiences were immediately on display.
Topics discussed included food security through CEA, emerging business models within CEA, the current state and future of vertical farming, a healthy debate between proponents of vertical and greenhouse farming, government regulations, the future of automation and AI in CEA, and even a spirited session on what is currently the hottest crop trend in indoor ag: strawberries.
FSG’s Director of Horticulture Christopher Hinshaw made quite an impression during his time on stage. An “Installation Success” forum allowed those in attendance to hear about the importance of optimized facility design and about the benefits of working with an installation partner who can provide a single point of contact while standing with customers throughout the entire life cycle of a CEA facility.
Indoor Ag-Con 2023: Not Just Another Trade Show
Indoor Ag-Con 2023 was much more than just another trade show, and FSG was proud to attend and participate in Las Vegas this year. In many ways, the convention was more of a symposium than a trade show, and while the Expo floor was the hub of excitement (and killer swag), the quality of the conversations that took place on the show floor were more intentional, focused, and thoughtful than those that sometimes take place at big industry events.
Throughout the conference, attendees and presenters all seemed to be bound by a single overriding desire: to find solutions to current agriculture problems. This fact is largely why FSG is such a welcome participant and natural fit within the world of CEA.
Conversations with CEA industry leaders always include a delightful moment when folks realize that FSG truly is brand agnostic and that we really are only interested in finding a solution to their facility challenges. In a “Buy Me!” world it sometimes takes a minute to hear someone quietly ask, “How can I help?”
But when customers do hear our message, we can see it in their eyes and feel it in their handshake. The CEA customers we met at Indoor Ag-Con this year understand that FSG is here to help them find solutions to the challenges they routinely face.
The future is bright for CEA, and as the industry matures from yesterday’s fad into tomorrow’s necessity, FSG’s role within the industry will grow right along beside it. It truly is a fantastic time to be focused on the future of food, and FSG is honored to be of service to such a fundamental, universal effort.
To learn more about how FSG can help your CEA operation, give us a call at (877) 293-6689, or send us a message!
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