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Sunny Farms to create 155 new jobs in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Christian Fernsby |
Sunny Farms will invest $59.6 million to establish a state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse for production, workforce development, and research in the City of Virginia Beach.

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Topics: VIRGINIA   

The company’s location at Taylor Farms will also house One Matters Inc., a new 501(c)(3), not-for-profit entity that will offer workforce development opportunities for underserved populations. Virginia successfully competed with Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for the project, which will create 155 new jobs.

For more than two years, Sunny Farms’ founders Jim Arnhold and Wayne Zinn have been working closely with the School of Plant and Environmental Science at Virginia Tech, as well as industry experts, to develop the company’s state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse.

Sunny Farms will grow its products using Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA), an advanced method of hydroponic agriculture where plants are grown within a controlled environment to optimize horticultural practices. The greenhouse production system will be sourced from Prins-USA, a Virginia-based company.

Sunny Farms will establish its growing, cleaning, and packaging operation in three phases over 36 months. The company will construct a 120,000-square-foot greenhouse (three acres under glass) with production focused on lettuce and other leafy greens in its first phase.

Phase two will expand the facility to 640,000 square feet (16 acres), and phase three will complete the facility at 1.2 million square feet (32 acres) total with capacity for leafy greens and a variety of vegetables. Upon completion, this facility will be one of the largest greenhouses on the East Coast.

Governor Ralph Northam approved a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to assist the City of Virginia Beach with the project. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created.


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