The following is a statement by Alltech on the recent news that AppHarvest, which is building one of the world’s largest controlled environment agriculture facilities, has brought together more than a dozen organizations, including the governments of the Netherlands and Kentucky as well as universities and private companies, to commit to the creation of America’s AgTech capital in Appalachia.
For forty years, Alltech has championed the use of innovation, science and human ingenuity to advance agriculture and our communities. We have long felt that Kentucky has the potential to become the Silicon Valley of the east by developing a thriving ag-tech ecosystem.
We continue to apply our global connectivity and resources to support entrepreneurial leadership. The Pearse Lyons Accelerator is now in its fourth year, connecting late stage startup ventures to the markets they serve. We also hold ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, considered a global nexus of agriculture and technology, in Central Kentucky each year to shine a global spotlight on the region. Our annual event brings more than 3,500 thought leaders from more than 70 countries to Lexington for an exploration of innovation, science and the next era of food production. In fact, for several years, beginning in 2018, we hosted specific discussions at the ONE aimed at advancing the concept of Kentucky as an ag-tech center.
We believe in the potential to create opportunities for economic growth in Kentucky, particularly in rural areas, and that creating a successful ag-tech environment requires inclusion and collaboration. We will continue to foster conversations among key stakeholdersand build upon the relationships we have established not only with the state of Kentucky, but with Mayor Gorton, the city of Lexington and the University of Kentucky.
Today’s announcement by Governor Beshear marks another milestone in the ag-tech journey, and we are excited to see growing support for developing new opportunities for Kentucky. We look forward to further engaging in the effort.