鶹ý

Gov. Youngkin announces new sustainable agriculture facility in Manassas

This article was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partner . Sign up for

Governor Glenn Youngkin signs CEA Legislation and announces the expansion of Beanstalk Farms Inc.'s second indoor farm and distribution facility in the Freedom I-66 Industrial Business Park in Manassas on June 6, 2024. (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Glenn Yougnkin)

Magic beans that grow into beanstalks may just be part of a fairy-tale, but Manassas, Virginia, is getting something close.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Thursday announced Beanstalk Farms Inc.’s second indoor farm and distribution facility at the Freedom I-66 Industrial Business Park in Manassas.

The project, located at 7315 Groveton Road, includes 18 new jobs and a capital investment of $4.1 million. Beanstalk Farms expects to produce 2.1 million pounds annually of Virginia-grown leafy greens and fresh-cut herbs.

“I am pleased that the Commonwealth’s pro-business climate and partnerships with state and local governments continue to be a factor in securing and scaling up innovative projects such as this,” Youngkin said in a news release. “Consumers continue to demand sustainable, locally grown food and increasing the number of indoor farms provides another mechanism of meeting demand and ensuring a more resilient food system.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin gives Prince William County officials a $100,000 check after signing legislation clarifying CEA roles and expanding high-tech indoor farming Manassas, Virginia, on June 6, 2024. (Courtesy of the Office of Gov. Glenn Youngkin)

Encouraged by their parents to eat fresh, organic produce, Beanstalk co-founders and brothers Mike and Jack Ross credit their childhood with putting them on the path to create a soil-based and pesticide-free approach to sustainable agriculture practice.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Herndon, Beanstalk is a soil-based, automated indoor vertical farm that utilizes a proprietary growing system — designed by the Rosses — to grow a variety of leafy greens and herbs. Beanstalk sources non-GMO seeds from around the world and through a propriety mix of LED-lights, a soil-growing medium and other technologies to produce salad mixes, herbs and microgreens year-round. Beanstalk aims to focus its production on flavor and health rather than transport.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the Prince William County Department of Economic Development and Tourism to secure the new 33,000-square-foot expansion project for the Commonwealth. Youngkin approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Prince William County will match with local funds.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our next-generation farm in Manassas,” Mike Ross, Beanstalk’s chief operating officer, said in the news release. “At a 10 times lower cost per acre than any other vertical farm, this facility demonstrates a new generation for indoor farming. This facility will provide the Greater Washington, D.C. market with the highest quality fresh produce every week of the year — rain or shine.”

Board of County Supervisors Chair Deshundra Jefferson was on hand for the event and accepted a ceremonial check from the governor.

“Our community is thrilled to welcome Beanstalk’s flagship vertical farming production facility to Prince William County,” Jefferson said. “Beanstalk’s founders, Jack Ross and Mike Ross, are driving innovation and working to improve our global food system. Our county is proud to be a part of that progress.”

Speaking with InsideNoVa, Gov. Youngkin continued to praise the next-gen project.

“I spoke with Jack and Mike, and they expect to double their employment in this facility, which is really exciting. That’s going to provide well-paying opportunities for Virginians,” Youngkin said. “I hope there are people that are here that will take those jobs, and people who will move here from other places to take those jobs.”

The governor continued, “When I came in, we had seen innovation in Virginia really decline, new businesses were closing faster than they were starting, and we’ve turned that around completely. It’s really fun to see these startups and these young businesses, led by new entrepreneurs, grow and thrive in Virginia.”

Federal 鶹ý Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.