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Panel Discussion Series

Aglanta means business and that's why our slogan is "where growing opportunity meets thriving community". With a welcoming community and healthy business environment, Atlanta is ripe to become a leader in CEA. The City has even designated a task force dedicated to just that: identifying and executing strategies for making Atlanta the place to start and scale your indoor farm. 

In this session, hear from the City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability Urban Agriculture Task Force. Experience dynamic panels of hand picked city and business leaders discuss the opportunities (and challenges) of agriculture business in Atlanta. Meet the players, hear the facts, and make the connections you need at this top session at Aglanta 2017.


The City of Atlanta's CEA Taskforce Panel 

The City of Atlanta's Office of Sustainability created a task force to research and investigate safety considerations and policies for future Controlled Environment Agriculture, a technology-based farming practice which takes place within enclosed structures. The effort will encourage the production of more local fruits and vegetables. The 21-member task force consists of members of the Atlanta City Council, the non-profit community, academia, environmental stakeholders and local farmers.

Featured Panelists:

Mario Cambardella - Director of Urban Agriculture, Mayor's Office of Sustainability - City of Atlanta

Stan Vanglider - Program Manager, Southern Company Energy Innovation Center

Ellen Macht - Social Entreprise Consultant, BetterLife Growers

Carla Smith - District 1 Council Member, City of Atlanta


Sustainability Panel 

Vertical farming and urban hydroponics is on the rise. The water and food miles reduction of these technologies is well proven but questions remain about the true social impact of jobs created and environmental impact of waste, materials, and energy used. This panel will ask the tough questions about sustainability and CEA and how we can move beyond greenwashing. 

Featured Panelists:

John R. Seydel - Director of Sustainability, Mayor's Office of Sustainability - City of Atlanta

Rashid Nuri - Urban Agriculturist, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture

Maya Ezzeddine - Sustainability Specialist, Columbia University


An Examination of Shuttered Vertical Farming Facilities

You may have read the open letter Agritecture posted from Paul Hardej the other week about the closure of FarmedHere’s 90,000 sq foot Bedford Park facility. After Agritecture made the post, they received many inquiries about how and why this happened - and what does this mean for the industry? Those of you were who were left wondering these question are in luck; Agritecture is pleased to announce we will be moderating an exclusive panel: Podponics and LocalGarden, like FarmedHere, each operated a vertical farming facility that is now closed. Podponics operated a large facility in Atlanta before declaring bankruptcy and closing their Atlanta facility in June 2016 - while Local Garden operated a large rooftop vertical farm in Vancouver that declared bankruptcy back in 2014.

Featured Panelists:

Paul Hardej - Co-Founder, FarmedHere

Mike Nasseri - Harvest Supervisor, LocalGarden

Matt Liotta - CEO, PodPonics


Earlier Event: February 19
Lunch Lecture & Youth Pitches
Later Event: February 19
Keynote Speaker - Stephen Ritz