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Green Spirit Farms Invests $27 Million To Establish Vertical Farm System In East Benton Township, Pennsylvania

Area Development Online News Desk (12/16/2013)
Green Spirit Farms will invest more than $27 million to establish its vertical farm system that will grow leafy vegetables, peppers and tomatoes in Lackawanna County’s East Benton Township, Pennsylvania.

“We love beautiful Lackawanna County and are thankful for Governor Corbett’s support,” said Milan Kluko, President of Green Spirit Farms. “Our mission at Green Spirit Farms is to provide local communities with high-quality, fresh, pesticide-free, non-GMO, and sustainably-grown produce at a fair price. When we build our indoor vertical farms, we believe, they are sustainable and healthy places to grow plants and a work force.”

The firm will acquire an existing 300,000-square-foot building and create at least 101 jobs. A vertical farm does not grow plants down on the ground. The Green Spirit Farms Vertical Growing System uses industrial racking systems, and with the correct full spectrum induction lights can grow plants up in four or five levels.

“By adding more than 100 family-sustaining jobs to Pennsylvania’s workforce, our partnership with Green Spirit Farms will grow Pennsylvania’s economy and ensure that our commonwealth remains the best place to live, work and raise a family,” Gov. Tom Corbett said. “I welcome Green Spirit Farms’ to Pennsylvania agriculture, one of our commonwealth’s most important industries, and thank them for investing in Pennsylvania’s greatest asset, our people.”

“Consumers want to purchase local foods and connect with farmers who produce them,” said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. “By repurposing an industrial building in the heart of Scranton, Green Spirit is bringing fresh, year-round produce to those in its community. Innovation like this helps successful farmers continue to feed a growing world.”

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team. GSF partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to receive a $300,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, $303,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits and a $45,450 Guaranteed Free Training grant to be used to train its new workforce. Lackawanna County and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce also collaborated on this project.

“We are excited about bringing new jobs to Lackawanna County. This project would not have happened without the cooperation and collaboration of Governor Corbett, Lackawanna County and Green Spirit Farms,” said Lackawanna County Commissioner Jim Wansacz. “This project demonstrates how working together on economic development initiatives enables us to attract businesses and jobs to our community. We are committed to helping Green Spirit Farms grow and prosper in Lackawanna County’s “land of opportunities.”

“The location of Green Spirit Farms within Benton Park is a great example of adaptive reuse of industrial space,” said Bob Durkin, President of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “Their commitment to create 101 new jobs and investment of more than $27 million in Lackawanna County is a true public private partnership and would not have been possible without the collaborations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Lackawanna County, Benton Township and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.”

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