S1E4: 004 Henry Gordon Smith - Exploring the Socioeconomic Divide in Agriculture


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Henry Gordon Smith is a global AgTech leader, speaker and founder of Agritecture, a global leader in urban agriculture consulting services. Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he and Henry discuss the business model of vertical farming and urban agriculture. They expound on the racial and socioeconomic divide within agriculture as well as the ongoing ‘food apartheid.’ Finally, Henry speaks to upcoming events and projects he and his organization are working towards.

Special thanks to our Season 1 Sponsor

IGS – https://intelligentgrowthsolutions.com/

Key Takeaways

  • 00:01 – Henry shares his origin story and how he originally became interested in vertical farming and podcasting
  • 07:52 – The biggest challenges Henry has faced as an entrepreneur and how investments have shaped the vertical farming business model
  • 13:04 – Complex questions about vertical farming that Henry is seeking answers to
  • 20:23 – Henry shares his definition of vertical farming and solutions he suggests for the industry
  • 29:13 – Henry’s speaks to the mission of his company Agritecture, and some of its offerings
  • 36:15 – Henry’s unique perspective on race, the ‘food apartheid’ and urban agriculture
  • 42:49 – Upcoming vents Henry is launching with Agritecture
  • 45:29 – Henry expounds on what excites him about the future of vertical farming and AgTech in general
  • 50:25 – Where listeners can follow Henry


“As I was exploring my interest in doing business solutions to sustainability challenges, I created three blogs to kind of test the market and to see what people responded to.” (03:38)

“I’m not about hype. I’m happy to encourage and talk about the benefits of urban agriculture and vertical farming, but I really want to talk about the complex questions.” (12:49)

“My definition is really about three dimensional farming. It could be one floor, it could be a container, it could be a basement. It’s really about saying, ‘Ok, when we think three dimensionally about agriculture and the potential to photosynthesize plants using LEDs, what could we do and what could we do with this space?’” (22:25)

“We have the third urban agriculture director in the United States that was just put into place in [Washington] D.C., to join Atlanta and Philadelphia. That’s really exciting…I’m really excited to see how policy accelerates the industry and starts to structure it a little bit.” (48:00)

Links Mentioned:

Henry’s LinkedIn


Agritecture Designer

Agritecture Event Link

Henry’s Instagram – @theagritect

Henry’s Twitter – @TheAgritect

Books Mentioned:

The Vertical The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century - Dr. Dickson Despommier

Intelligent Growth Solutions

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