Indoor vertical farm plans $70M facility, 120 jobs in Indiana

A Faribault, Minnesota-based company that bills itself as the world’s largest indoor vertical aeroponic farm is setting up shop in Delaware County, it announced Tuesday.

Living Greens Farm Inc. said it will invest nearly $70 million to establish a 200,000-square-foot farming, processing and packaging facility in Muncie and create up to 120 jobs by the end of 2024.

The company said the new location will allow it to expand its bagged salad and salad kit offerings to retailers and consumers throughout the Midwest and mid-south regions.

CEO George Pastrana said Muncie is an ideal location to begin the company’s national expansion.

“It will help us to better supply our current retail partners, such as Walmart, Whole Foods, HyVee, UNFI and others, as well as allow expansion into additional leading retail and wholesale operations across the Midwest,” Pastrana said in written remarks. “I wish to thank the fine people of Muncie and Delaware County for the work they put into making this new farm a reality. As we are from a rural town in Minnesota, they made us feel that Muncie would be exactly the environment that would work well for us.”

Living Greens said the Muncie facility will use an advanced farming system that requires “significantly less” water than traditional farming methods. The farm will be able to grow and harvest nearly 5 million pounds of pesticide-free leafy greens annually.

The farming system is expected to save an estimated 103 million gallons of water per year.

The company expects to begin hiring for production, processing, shipping, management, and administrative positions for the Muncie location beginning in the second quarter.

“We are so pleased to have the Living Greens Farm investment in Delaware County,” said Delaware County Commissioner President Sherry Riggin. “Diversification of industry in our community is incredibly important. The leafy greens product is a wonderful addition, and we’re happy to welcome them to the county.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Living Greens Farm up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits, which the company will not be eligible to claim until Hoosier workers are hired and the planned capital investments are made. Delaware County has approved additional incentives.

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5 thoughts on “Indoor vertical farm plans $70M facility, 120 jobs in Indiana

  1. Usually IEDC publishes an average wage with the number of jobs…I’m assuming that information has been omitted because it’s unimpressive (i.e. below medians).

    When will the state stop subsidizing jobs that don’t pay enough to own a house and car and have decent health care?

  2. Well unless you want more expensive produce the wages will likely be market rate (what people are willing to take to perform this labor). BTW, the state is not subsidizing this company. The incentives are based on payroll taxes. If the company doesn’t create any jobs, they don’t receive incentives. Without this very basic level of incentives, Living Greens can just build this farm in Ohio or Kentucky or Illinois, which will provide them. I think Indiana does a great balancing act of incentives dependent on job creation. Also, the higher the wages they pay, the more payroll incentives generated, so there is a small reason for paying hiring wages. If you want to see a horrible use of incentives look no further than Wisconsin with the truly disastrous FoxConn project.

    1. Here’s the issue: Indiana’s median wage is behind the national median, and the gap has been growing for 20 years. We can’t keep subsidizing $18-22/hour jobs stacking boxes (or growing lettuce).

      Instead of offering subsidies for employers bringing lower-wage jobs, we should be winning deals like the battery plants and Intel chip factory that have gone to adjacent/surrounding states in the past few months.

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