Hamilton-based 80 Acres Farms planning new facility in N. Kentucky

Hamilton-based 80 Acres Farms plans to open a facility in Boone County, Ky. PROVIDED

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Hamilton-based 80 Acres Farms plans to open a facility in Boone County, Ky. PROVIDED

Hamilton-based 80 Acres Farms, the company creating entirely indoor farms that allow high-output farming throughout the year without need for pesticides or herbicides, plans to build a new facility in eastern Boone County, Ky.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced 80 Acres Farms will create 125 well-paying jobs with a $74 million investment in an existing 200,000-square-foot building located on 22-plus acres. It should open in the third quarter of this year and will grow, harvest, package and distribute leafy greens, microgreens, berries and tomatoes for markets in the surrounding area.

“Agritech growth is a major part of our effort to create a sustainable economy that works for all Kentuckians, and I am very pleased to welcome 80 Acres Farms to the commonwealth,” Beshear said. “These well-paying jobs will create quality opportunities for our workforce. I want to thank the company’s leaders for locating in Kentucky and I can’t wait to see the facility up and running this year.”

An image released by the company shows the sprawling building and areas around it surrounded by many solar panels.

“Opening a farm in Boone County will allow us to grow closer to our retail partners in Lexington and Louisville and introduce our fresh, healthy, locally grown produce to many more Kentuckians,” 80 Acres CEO Mike Zelkind said in a news release. “We’re always looking for ways to increase our impact, and this farm is the biggest step forward for us yet, more than doubling our total production and growing our footprint outside Ohio.”

Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore was pleased with location of the company, which he described as “on an impressive growth trajectory, and we are thrilled to have their first location in Kentucky in Boone County.”

Lee Crume, CEO of the Northern Kentucky development organization Tri-ED, said, “80 Acres is leveraging its science and technology to grow its products and scale its supply chain with much success.”

“A lot of collaboration with Duke Energy, Boone County and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development brought this project to fruition,” Crume said. “I’m excited to buy 80 Acres’ Kentucky-grown produce at my local Kroger.”

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More distant 80 Acres contacts

In a farther-reaching 80 Acres Farms contact, Mayor Pat Moeller and City Manager Joshua Smith recently mingled with the prime minister of the Bahamas, Philip Edward “Brave” Davis, Smith told Hamilton City Council this week.

“They had the prime minister of the Bahamas and an entourage of business people, botanists, and some government officials that were in town visiting with 80 Acres as 80 Acres looks to continue to expand their footprint, not only here in Hamilton, but also globally,” Smith said.

The company and city officials have said 80 Acres regularly hosts governments from around the world interested in creating more food security and to be able to raise crops in more difficult agricultural environments.

The company’s headquarters is based in Hamilton’s city government tower at 345 High St.

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Moeller called the time with the Bahama delegation “truly historic. I never thought I’d sit on a council visited by the prime minister of the Bahamas. It was just a neat event. The minister of agriculture was there,” as were others, including a Miami University graduate who works in agriculture in the Bahamas, he said.

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A sign for 80 Acres Farms, now based in Hamilton, in the city-government tower, went up last summer, joining that of ODW Logistics, which has had a sign on the building for years. PROVIDED

A sign for 80 Acres Farms, now based in Hamilton, in the city-government tower, went up last summer, joining that of ODW Logistics, which has had a sign on the building for years. PROVIDED

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A sign for 80 Acres Farms, now based in Hamilton, in the city-government tower, went up last summer, joining that of ODW Logistics, which has had a sign on the building for years. PROVIDED

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