Beanstalk, an innovative indoor vertical farm startup, to expand production in Fairfax County and grow by 29 jobs

Gov. Ralph Northam announced today that Beanstalk, an indoor vertical farming startup, will create 29 new jobs and invest more than $2 million to expand production and relocate within Fairfax County.

The company’s new facility in the Town of Herndon will produce a variety of pesticide-free leafy greens and specialty herbs year-round using proprietary hydroponic growing technology, achieving annual sales of over $5 million in the next three years. Beanstalk sells its fresh salad mixes and fresh-cut herbs through national grocery retailers, Northern Virginia farmers markets, and in its on-site retail store.

“As a hub for innovation of all kinds, Fairfax County is an ideal location for Beanstalk’s innovative indoor farm facility,” said Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) President and CEO Victor Hoskins. “By utilizing its hydroponic growing technology in a larger space, Beanstalk will be able to produce even more pesticide-free greens year-round. The FCEDA congratulates the company on its expansion plans in Fairfax County.”

Beanstalk is a sustainable farming company that focuses on agricultural innovations with a mission to grow the world’s consumption of fresh produce. Founders and Alexandria natives, Mike and Jack Ross, have notable engineering experience and a keen interest in the local food movement and solving problems of the modern food system.

“Jack and I are incredibly proud to be developing our technology and growing local produce in Virginia,” said Beanstalk co-founder Michael Ross. “Being ‘Virginia Grown’ ourselves, we are excited to be bringing new technology to the industry and new jobs to our home state.”

Mike is an aerospace engineer, who previously built artificial intelligence software for an entertainment company and led the development of a digital platform for an international grocer.

Jack, a computer engineer who built an iOS app at age 16 with more than half a million users, was recognized by Governor Northam with the prestigious STEM Catalyst Award in 2018 for the development of an automated indoor growing prototype. He developed Beanstalk’s highly automated production system to efficiently grow plants in a dense, palletized format. Using this technology, the company can produce food four times as efficiently as traditional hydroponic farming.

“We are always looking for innovative investments to move our economy forward in Fairfax County,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay. “Beanstalk’s new facility will not only bring new jobs to the community, but it also is a creative solution to using advancements in technology to increase access to fresh food options.”

“The Town of Herndon is thrilled to welcome Jack and Mike Ross’ Beanstalk Farms to our community,” said Town of Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem. “Theirs is exactly the kind of innovative, jobs-producing business we are looking to attract to our town’s commercial sector, and we applaud their application of technology toward provision of healthy, locally grown produce.”

Fairfax County, the Town of Herndon and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) to secure this project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Fairfax County will match with local funds.  Funding and services to support the company’s job creation will be provided through VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district, the FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Follow the FCEDA on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

The FCEDA is a member of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, which promotes and markets Northern Virginia outside the region and conducts activities and events to build the regional business community. Other members of NOVA EDA are the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

May 24, 2021

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