Vermont’s tech park and the future of your food


When you talk with Sue Raftery you might think she’s on fire. Funny, because she’s leading a company that grows food on water –– using hydroponics, or water grown plants and vegetables to supplant and correct the damaging, conventional agriculture practices dominating our food chain today.

How’s she doing it? The answer is AGROWN.

Through AGROWN, Sue’s building hydroponics farms to feed more people using less land and resources.

These farms are also called vertical farms, distributed food networks, controlled indoor agriculture, or high-tech food factories.

She’s started her business in Brattelboro, Vermont, and tomorrow to those registered is offering a tour of the facilities with networking for those in the industry.


On feature in Vermont is the start of a technology transfer park, her first AGROWN facility, a turn-key project that grows food. The idea of putting people and companies together is so educators, innovators, and industry can unite to develop, fund and test innovations in alternative food growing technologies connected to what Sue calls “any ponics.”

That would include hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, as examples.

Sue wants companies to be able to put their products and technologies to the taste test, like LED lighting claims, but also to see how results measure up with environmental standards and energy efficiencies best practices.

“We will integrate applied industry research that breaks the bondage of not having to test innovation. There will be knowledge transfer around the nexus of food, water, and energy,” she tells Green Prophet.


Sue’s facility in Vermont will become the first science park like it in the world, even surpassing what’s been done in Holland –– the greenhouse and hydroponic capital of the world.

She talks with Green Prophet and expresses how business, education and transparency go hand in hand in this new business of sustainable food production.

RELATED: Calfornia farm-to-table community built around new 7 acre urban farm and education center

Sue embraces other companies in the field, and sees no competitors, only collaborators. That’s how environmentalists who change the world through food like to see things too.

She’s bringing together industry leaders in lighting, hydroponics growing, installations, financing, and would love to see young innovators being part of her new science park: The AGROWN CEA Research Center.

“People who are new to the industry have no baggage,” she explains.

Keep your eye on AGROWN and the new tech park. And for those in the Middle East who want to invest in future, sustainable food, Sue will be putting on an exclusive investor’s event in Wooster, Ohio on October 21 to 23. It’s called Agtech Investing.

“It’s a conference just for investors,” says Sue. “So they can start digging in deeper to see opportunities.”

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