MOREHEAD, Ky. — AppHarvest is finishing construction on three new facilities that will ship out millions of pounds of produce from indoor farms to local stores in the Commonwealth. The company said their Berea, Richmond and Somerset indoor farms will be completed by the end of 2022.

What You Need To Know

  • Three new AppHarvest facilities will be complete by the end of 2022 in Berea, Richmond and Somerset

  • The facilities will ship salad greens, cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes to local grocery stores in Kentucky 

  • The company prides itself on using sustainable, indoor farms and rainwater for crops

  • AppHarvest is eyeing out-of-state expansion, as well

2020 was the year AppHarvest announced it would call Kentucky home. The company planted roots in Morehead, producing nearly 40 million pounds of tomatoes a year with 720,000 tomato plants. The team of agriculture professionals has dreamed bigger, with three new facilities in mind.  

Almost two years later, the company is preparing for the completion of three more indoor greenhouses. AppHarvest is on track to finish one 15 acre facility in Berea for salad greens, a 60 acre one in Richmond for tomatoes and a 30 acre facility in Somerset for strawberries and cucumbers.

They’ll all be complete by the end of the year. Currently, AppHarvest says the Berea facility is 90% finished, Somerset is 85% finished and the Richmond facility is 80% finished.

“We boost what we take from nature with technology, just where we need it to be able to grow substantial pretty much year round,” said Parman.

The company prides itself on using sustainable, indoor farms and rainwater for crops. Travis Parman, the company’s chief communications officer, said their process sees zero water runoff spills, keeping pollution out of local waterways.

Recent research from Emory University says the global supply of fruits and vegetables falls 22% short of the global population’s needs. Parman says that’s a problem that won’t be fixed until traditional farmers rethink their habits.

“Extreme weather events are making that more difficult than ever to do in open field agriculture. We really think this is part of the solution,” said Parman.

Last year, CEO Jonathan Webb told Spectrum News the first 60 acre facility in Morehead was already a crucial part of Kentucky’s developing agriculture job economy. 

“We’ve had 8,000 people apply to work for AppHarvest, and in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic when people say, ‘People don’t want to work.’ No,” Webb said. ”People in Kentucky want to work. We’ve hired nearly 500 people in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in that Morehead facility.”

Parman says when AppHarvest completes the three facilities, they will employ nearly 1,000 Kentuckians. The company won’t stop out four facilities, either. They’ve also got their eyes on out-of-state opportunities.

“You’re going to see us take a look at expanding that network, so we’ve got more of a national footprint too,” said Parman.

The company is currently searching for people to come work at one of the three new facilities. If you’re interested, you can click here, browse under their career tab for current opportunities.