Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development Takes Steps to Help Move Forward Governor’s ‘Grown in Nevada’ Program
(Las Vegas) — The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Seedstock, a social venture dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture, have announced they will co-host the first Nevada Indoor Agriculture Conference on April 24 in Las Vegas. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the Desert Research Institute are also key participants in the event.
The conference, designed to offer practical advice to those interested in growing food indoors on a commercial scale, will address various aspects of this increasingly popular farming choice as it relates to Nevada’s desert environment. Indoor growing techniques use a fraction of the land and water required by traditional farming and, consequently, are ideally suited to arid climates. In addition, this industry has become a focus for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as it provides economic opportunities for the state. It not only promotes job creation and state revenue, but it also helps make Nevada more food independent by allowing the state to increase local food production.
According to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, the state imports $93.8 million of vegetables and melons and $195 million worth of fruits annually, and a local industry worth $4.7 million could be established if only 5% of these imports were replaced with local produce.
“The goal of the event is to bring together a diverse audience interested in indoor agriculture – farmers, customers, financiers, researchers, and political leaders – to discuss the development of sustainable solutions for increasing local food production in Nevada,” said Seedstock co-founder, Robert Puro.
The conference will be held at the Historic Fifth Street School, a downtown Las Vegas facility, and the program will run from 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. Speakers will address issues ranging from new technologies to funding a commercial operation to customer needs, and a lively debate will be encouraged. Details of the conference will be updated regularly at http://agnevada.seedstock.com.
Governor Brian Sandoval highlighted the importance of Nevada’s $5.3 billion agriculture industry in his recent State of the State address, and the conference aims to complement the governor’s “Grown in Nevada” program. This program aims to encourage businesses and individuals to turn to Nevada first for their produce needs.
GOED Executive Director Steve Hill said: “The agriculture industry provides immense opportunities for economic development in Nevada, especially as our state is perfectly placed to capitalize on the ongoing commercialization of exciting technologies in the hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic fields.”
In recent years, Nevada has experienced an increase in indoor agriculture companies opening to serve a multitude of needs in the food industry. Most commonly, local casinos and chefs are turning to these types of businesses to obtain fresher food faster, and the area is especially interesting to indoor agriculture companies looking to capitalize on the strong research capabilities and business-friendly environment available in Las Vegas.
Seedstock is a for profit social venture, which through the use of a variety of tools including the news and information hub, Seedstock.com, and live events, facilitates connections between investors, farmers, researchers, organization and entrepreneurs focused on the development of innovative products and methodologies that address the vital long-term challenges to sustainable agriculture.
About the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development:
Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed at www.diversifynevada.com.