Governor Shapiro, Little Leaf Farms Announce Grand Opening of Pennsylvania’s Largest Indoor-Grown Leafy Greens Production Facility in Carbon County
May 31, 2023
Governor Shapiro, Little Leaf Farms CEO Paul Sellew, and local leaders announce opening of state’s largest indoor-grown leafy greens production facility that is expected to support nearly 170 jobs by the end of 2023.
McAdoo, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro joined Little Leaf Farms to announce the grand opening of the Commonwealth’s largest indoor-grown leafy greens production facility in McAdoo this fall. As part of its expansion, Little Leaf Farms – which produces packaged lettuce sustainably grown through controlled environment agriculture – will grow its presence in Carbon County and open its second facility in Pennsylvania.
Little Leaf Farms already owns 180 acres in McAdoo and opened its first 10-acre greenhouse in July 2022. The additional capacity of 10 acres in its expansion will allow Little Leaf Farms to increase its retail presence to nearly 5,000 grocery stores, making its fresh greens available at most major retailers from the Midwest to the Southeast, and employ nearly 170 Pennsylvania workers by the end of 2023. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has supported this growth with $3.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants.
“Pennsylvania has a proud agricultural heritage, and our agriculture sector is a key driver of our economy, contributing over $132 billion to our economy and supporting nearly 600,000 jobs,” said Governor Shapiro. “I want to plant a flag and show the rest of the country that Pennsylvania is a leader in agriculture, job creation, and innovation – and Little Leaf Farms’ investment in our Commonwealth is proof that the future is being grown right here in Carbon County. Pennsylvania is open for business and my Administration will continue to support our farmers, scientists, and entrepreneurs who want to grow and thrive here in the Commonwealth.”
The new production facility will house state-of-the-art technology and efficiencies, including advanced heating, cooling, and lighting systems, and will integrate the brand’s hands-free automated grow system, meaning the leafy greens are untouched from seed to packaging and do not require washing. Little Leaf Farms’ lettuce is farmed 365 days a year, harvested daily, and delivered from greenhouse to grocery store in 24 hours.
“What we see in facilities like Little Leaf Farms is that agriculture is no longer confined to wide-open spaces. With emerging technologies, we can grow food anywhere, and make it available to the communities who might otherwise find themselves in food deserts,” said Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding. “The future of agriculture starts in places like Little Leaf Farms, in their amazing greenhouses that are built with the best technology available today. Agriculture has always been a driver of technology, and today our goal is to see that continue well into the future.”
“Pennsylvania has been an excellent partner in bringing our vision for expansion to life. With its ideal location on the East Coast, we’ve been able to grow significantly to the Southeast and are now looking forward to even more growth in the Midwest to bring our delicious and fresh greens to more consumers, all still within 24-hours of harvesting for ultimate freshness,” said Paul Sellew, Founder and CEO of Little Leaf Farms. “We continue to build on our ambitious plans for growth and our growth in Pennsylvania is a testament to how we’ve been able to continuously scale our efficient production and operations.”
In March, Governor Shapiro unveiled his first budget proposal– a commonsense set of solutions to the most pressing issues Pennsylvanians face – including investments to increase funding to attract and retain businesses in Pennsylvania and to grow Pennsylvania’s nation-leading organic market. Governor Shapiro’s budget investments include:
- $13.8 million to fully fund the Pennsylvania Farm Bill for the fifth year.
- A $12 million increase for the Pennsylvania First Program to fund more expansion projects and bring future business investments and high paying jobs to the Commonwealth.
- $1 million to create a new Organic Center of Excellence, which will grow the state’s ability to support this sector of the industry.
- $500,000 to create a Center for Plant Excellence that will expand supply chain opportunities and boost resources available to Pennsylvania’s diverse plant industries.
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