S2E19: s2e19 Nate Storey - Long-Distance Supply Chains, Accessing Capital & Doing Meaningful Work through Vertical Farming


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Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show co-founder and Chief Science Officer (CSO) of Plenty, Nate Storey. Plenty is on a mission to bring fresh, local produce to communities everywhere in a way that’s better for the environment. In this episode, Harry and Nate discuss Plenty’s local field-scale indoor farms, the importance of having supportive infrastructure for vertical farming and the work Nate is doing at Plenty to promote social responsibility and better food for all.

Episode Sponsor

Ceres Greenhouse Solutions

Key Takeaways

  • 03:22 – Harry welcomes to the show Nate Storey, who shares his thoughts on the impact of COVID-19, what piqued his interest in vertical farming and what inspired him to start his first business, Bright Agrotech
  • 12:18 – Nate speaks to mentors who have influenced his career, lessons he’s learned and why vertical farming is truly his calling
  • 16:19 – Nate tells the story of how he met fellow Plenty co-founder, Matt Barnard as well as common misconceptions towards indoor agriculture
  • 21:18 – How Plenty’s mission has evolved and innovated throughout the years
  • 24:20 – The importance of having a supporting infrastructure for vertical farming
  • 27:59 – How Plenty decides on where to locate its farms and where they are focusing their growth
  • 34:13 – Nate discusses the work Plenty is doing to advance social responsibility
  • 38:43 – Nate expounds on his roles and responsibilities as Chief Science Officer
  • 42:54 – Harry and Nate discuss the unique technologies that Plenty utilizes
  • 49:33 – A tough question Nate has had to ask himself lately and a hobby that keeps Nate busy
  • 53:00 – Harry thanks Nate for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about Plenty

Tweetable Quotes

“Covid has been a bit of a reckoning for the world in a lot of different spheres. But certainly in the sphere of managing long-distance supply chains and keeping things on the shelf – things that people have always taken for granted.” (04:23)

“I believe that great design starts with intent.” (10:51)

“The thing that I’ve learned over the years is that brilliant, talented, motivated people can do just about anything.” (14:20)

“We need to double to triple the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in the world just to feed people the right amount that doctors recommend for your diets.” (19:08)

“The thing about having things magically show up on retail shelves for decades without interruption is that you start to take for granted the complexity and the difficulty of making those things show up on the shelf.” (24:50)

“I believe that most business problems are basically feedback problems. The further away you get from your customer, the less you can understand their needs.” (26:50)

“It would be a travesty if we built farms in food deserts without solving the food desert problem.” (36:01)

“I think when we think about this industry and what’s going to hold it back is access to capital.” (45:58)

“It lands on our shoulders to go out into the world, manufacture as much land as possible, conserve as much water as possible and put food on people’s plates.” (49:24)

Links Mentioned

Plenty Website

Nate’s LinkedIn

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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