Secretary Perdue visits sustainable produce farm to discuss innovation

Founded in 2015, Bowery Farms is working to deliver food of the future. The indoor produce farm is a leader in innovation, so Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited to see for himself.

“We grow at Bowery in a totally controlled and contained environment. We can grow-year round, completely pesticide free; it’s 100 times more productive than a square foot of farm land,” said Irving Fain, the farm’s founder and CEO, “We save over 95 percent of the water when we grow as well.”

Perdue says grower innovation has been key to the last 75 years of American agriculture, but he also noted being sustainable is not easy.

He says food can’t just be environmentally stable but it also must be affordable for the average person in the grocery store. Perdue said Bowery is balancing all environmental, economic and social stability.

“Those are three pretty fine-threaded needles to go through and balance on that three-legged stool,” Perdue said. “

For Bowery Farms, the end result is worth the effort.

“The key to innovation is overcoming obstacles, learning from those obstacles, using what you learned to overcome the next obstacles faster and more effectively,” Fain said. “We’ve learned a lot about, not just how do you grow great crops, but how do you grow great crops at scale and that’s really important.”