Updated: Dec 10, 2020
We’ve been talking a lot about AppHarvest lately, but it is pretty hard not to. They just recently announced some major board additions like Martha Stewart, they are going public via a SPAC, they just opened their first project in Morehead, and they are planning new locations for additional greenhouses as we speak. Everyone in Kentucky should be talking about them!
Middle Tech has been covering them from the very beginning so Logan and I were just recently invited to their grand opening event in Morehead, KY. To say we were blown away is an understatement. Despite having several friends working there and doing three podcasts featuring AppHarvest team members, we still weren’t prepared for what we saw on Wednesday. It was inspirational, emotional, eye-opening, and just straight-up cool. We walked away from the event feeling extremely proud to be living in Kentucky at this time in history. With the rapid decline of the coal industry, Eastern Kentucky has been hurting badly, so to see something like AppHarvest rise out of the ashes and provide a sense of inspiration and hope to the community is a story for the ages.
I’ve been watching from afar in awe as Elon Musk constructs his Gigafactories around the world in record time to further their mission of building a sustainable future, and as I sat there at the grand opening, I couldn’t help but get the sense that we are doing something similar here in Kentucky. AppHarvest and Jonathan Webb still have a lot to prove but they are well on their way to helping build a sustainable future and a future where we are not so dependent on other nations like Mexico for our produce. That’s their mission. To sustainably grow produce for Americans while lifting up a region of the US so ironically hurt by the move to sustainability. Again, it’s a story for the ages and we are so excited to see it continue to play out.
The grand opening event was certainly what you would expect from a project like this. There was a flyover, swag bags, partnership announcements, powerful speeches, vegetarian lunch, and tours of the facility. We heard from Jonathan Webb, investors, government officials, community members, and board members. Everyone spoke with extreme pride and excitement for what has been accomplished and what is still yet to come. There was a consistent theme in everyone’s speech that I think is important to convey…. This is Kentucky’s future. That is the message, and again, after being there in person and seeing it up close, I couldn’t help but agree that AppHarvest is on the path to put us on the world’s stage and provide an example to the rest of the United States about what is possible.
Below are some videos and pictures of the Middle Tech Team at the event: