CINCINNATI — The future of farming is right here in Ohio and it’s happening indoors. 

What You Need To Know

  • The company 80 Acres Farms has the ability to control and change the environment of each of the rooms where produce is growing

  • The farm doesn't see itself as competition with other conventional farms, but instead aims to help feed a growing population

  • Its produce is now being sold in Kroger locations in Ohio

The company 80 Acres Farms in Hamilton, 20 miles north of Cincinnati, is one of just a handful of “vertical farms” in the world.

Farm Manager Noah Zelkind was working on Wall Street before making the switch to 80 Acres, which houses 20 different growing rooms.

“We have 10 levels stacked on top of each other, 10 rows long and 10 tables inside of each row,” said Zelkind. 

The company is able to control and change the environment of each of the rooms where produce is growing. It’s technology that’s years in the making. 

“We went through and tried to study nature and replicate everything that’s important about it and really make sure we’re giving the plant exactly what it needs but in the most efficient way possible,” said Zelkind.

It's a method Zelkind said gives the company ultimate control.

"This really is the next generation of farming," he said. "We have a completely different level over the control of the entire process of growing than anything anyone has done before.”

“You're going to get the same healthy fresh lettuce whether you're in the middle of winter and it's snowing outside or you’re in the middle of the summer,” he said.

But he said the company is not trying to compete with conventional farmers.

"We don’t see ourselves competing with farmers at all,” said Zelkind. “If you look, we’re supposed to have 10 billion people in the world in the next 20 to 30 years, and in order to feed the population, we’re going to need 70% more arable land.”

The farm's produce is now available in Kroger stores across the state.