This morning, I am heading across the Pond.
I’m going from Appalachia to Amsterdam and joining education and economic development leaders on a tour of the university and workforce training ecosystem of the Netherlands’ thriving high-tech agriculture industry.
The Netherlands has the land mass of Appalachia Kentucky’s region east of Interstate 75 and South of Interstate 64, but it is the world’s second largest exporter of agriculture. That is not a typo, folks, a country the size of a portion of Appalachia Kentucky is the second largest exporter of agriculture behind… drum roll, please… us – the United States.
So, how is this even remotely possible? Technology.
AppHarvest, a Grassroots Partner of SOAR, brought its #FarmingNow movement to the forefront several years ago. Founder and CEO Jonathan Webb knew this disruptive approach to agriculture needed to happen where he had access to market and access to a highly skilled workforce.
Winner, winner green bean dinner. I didn’t think it was appropriate to use chicken in an agriculture-related post.
Did you know that Appalachia Kentucky is within one day’s drive to nearly two-thirds of the US population? According to Webb, produce from Central America is often trucked days (or more than a week) before reaching markets.
Six-day old tomatoes? No one has time for that.
AppHarvest’s approach is about quality. Non-GMO seeds, no pesticides, and crops grown with a workforce with generations of knowledge and respect for farming.
I’ll be blogging throughout my trip. We’ll be visiting various educational sites and greenhouses, and I can’t wait to share this journey with you.
My next post will dive in a little closer as to why the Netherlands is Farming the Future.
Until then, I’ll check my bags and begin this journey.