What You Missed From the Upstart Farmers at the 4th Annual Indoor Ag Con

This week, the country’s largest indoor agriculture meeting took place in Las Vegas.

Early Monday morning we packed up and caught an early flight to Las Vegas for the 4th Annual Indoor Ag Con, a gathering of hundreds of farmers, equipment designers, investors, and innovators of all things indoor agriculture.

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Indoor agriculture is gaining speed with its potential solutions for growing environmental and population problems, its ability to unlock the value of big data, and its versatility in all spaces and climates. Having so many players gathered together in one place added momentum to an already dynamic space.

The Bright Agrotech team got to be a part ofthree exciting things at the 2016 Indoor Ag Con.

1) We explored new techniques and developments in the industry and got to show off one of our own.

At each Indoor Ag Conference, technology designers and users bring samples of their newest and most exciting tech to share with others. There were dozens of LED lighting designers, growing equipment manufacturers, greenhouse tech companies, and much more.Modular Farms was there to show off their scalable container farms, iHort displayed its seed-starting supplies, Intravision dazzled us with LEDs, andAutoGrow debuted its RoomBoss.

This year, we decided to take advantage of the ZipFarms simple design by bringing one with us.

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Yes, we did bring an entire farm with us in the back of a Penske truck.

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People loved walking into a conference hall and seeing a green, living farm! Needless to say, the ZipFarm got plenty of photo ops.

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Megan Klein, CEO and President of FarmedHere, delivers a speech in front of the ZipFarm.

2)Upstart Farmers came together to share experience, tips, and ideas.

“Knowledge is power, but it’s only power when it’s shared. And when it’s shared, it’s power multiplied.” – Darryn Keiller,Autogrow America

The Upstart Farmers network is the fastest growing network of start-up farmers in the world. A huge part of that success is that the Upstarts collaborate to grow and sell their produce better. Normally, though, that sharing happens via email or phone.

Seeing each other face to face was a big help! After setting up the ZipFarm on Monday night, we all headed back to grab a beer and talk shop.

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The Upstart Farmers got to share ideas, from tips on building propagation chambers to diversifying revenue streams. We even caught some of their insights on camera, so stay tuned for some helpful videos!

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3) We got to chum with our Minnesota branch!

Chris Lukenbill, Head of Software, and his team work hard up in Rochester, Minnesota. We get to collaborate on our farm planning software, Able.ag, from afar, but seeing the Rochester branch in person was a delight.

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Being surrounded by the rest of the team and the Upstart Farmers also gave Chris the chance to collect feedback on the software. You can expect some Able.ag changes to roll down the pipeline pretty quick in the next month or two. (Check out the Able software here.)

Until next time… See you next year at Indoor Ag Con!

Well be reaping the benefits of Indoor Ag Con for several months to come, but we still cant wait to get back to the 5th Annual Indoor Ag Con.

Indoor_AgCon-2530.jpgWe hope to see you among the hundreds of innovators at next year’s Indoor Ag Con. Until then, happy farming!

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