Both the Clinton County economy and perhaps your next salad are looking a little brighter thanks to BrightFarms’ first local harvest.
A special event on Friday at the new Davids Drive facility in Wilmington gave local officials and residents a chance to see how the nationwide greenhouse operates and what they offer for the community and surrounding region.
BrightFarms owns and operates indoor hydroponic greenhouses that individually produce more than 800,000 pounds of locally grown salad greens and herbs. Teams of employees will work in a climate-controlled greenhouse year-round.
The Wilmington greenhouse greens will be available at Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus retailers starting in August. Each package will highlight that the greens were grown in Wilmington.
BrightFarms has hired 30 people from the Wilmington area. The company states that employees are offered a living wage, full benefits, vacation time, 401(k), gym membership and the opportunity for growth within the company.
Speakers at Friday’s event included Mitch Heaton from Dayton Development Coalition, BrightFarms Marketing VP Abby Prior and Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth.
“This is not the kind of agriculture I grew up with,” Stanforth said in a speech. “We are now assured fresh locally grown produce year-round. We’re pleased that this company has decided to put its roots down here.”
Clinton County Commissioner Kerry Steed also spoke, and he read a letter from U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
Ellen Short, a representative of the office of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-Ohio), read a letter from Brown.
Both senators praised BrightFarms and what the company brings to Ohio.
After the speeches, guests were asked to don hairnets as they were led to a special ribbon-cutting ceremony by General Manager Brian Stephens, welcoming in the first harvest of lettuce.
Attendees also got a look at how the lettuce is harvested and how vegetables are grown during a tour of the greenhouse.
BrightFarms greenhouses are also located in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Virginia, and the company will have a location in Texas in 2019.
For more information about BrightFarms, visit www.brightfarms.com.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574.