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By: Amy Charles |
August 25, 2022
The University of Pikeville will embark on a new academic year during its 2022 Opening Convocation ceremony. The event will be held on the seventh floor of UPIKE’s Health Professions Education Building on Thursday, September 1, at 11 a.m. It will also be live-streamed on UPIKE’s official Facebook page for students, faculty, staff and the community.
Jonathan Webb, founder and CEO of AppHarvest, will deliver this year’s keynote address. AppHarvest is a sustainable foods company developing and operating some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms with robotics and artificial intelligence capabilities to build a reliable, climate-resilient food system.
In creating his company, Webb paired his degree from the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business with his experience working on renewable energy projects for the U.S. Department of Defense. What he learned about the modern system of hydroponic agriculture in the Netherlands, combined with reports that global food production would need to double by 2050, Webb foresaw the need for rapid change in the American food system.
Webb believes that by harnessing the best of nature’s capabilities with future-forward technology to grow delicious produce at scale, systemic supply chain issues could be resolved while advocating for modern sustainable farming methods. The farms at AppHarvest are designed to grow non-GMO crops using sunshine and up to ninety percent less water than open-field growing, all while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture.
AppHarvest currently operates its flagship farm – about the size of 50 football fields – in Morehead, Ky., growing tomatoes. The company is developing a network of farms to produce a variety of vine crops, salad greens and berries, with three more farms currently under construction and expected to be operational by the end of 2022.
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