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UW Grad and Entrepreneur to Discuss Indoor Agriculture Friday

February 2, 2023
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Nate Storey

A University of Wyoming graduate who is one of the pioneers of controlled environment agriculture will speak Friday, Feb. 3, in a UW Department of Plant Sciences seminar. 

Nate Storey, the co-founder and chief science officer of vertical farming company Plenty Inc., will discuss “Indoor Agriculture and Yield” at 1:10 p.m. via Zoom at

Plenty recently opened the world’s highest-output, vertical indoor farm in Compton, Calif. -- a major step for a new industry that is gaining increasing attention for its ability to supply high-quality produce year-round using relatively small amounts of water and land, and without the use of pesticides. Plenty’s research and development farm is located in Laramie, where Storey still lives. 

Plenty’s vertical farming towers are designed to grow multiple crops on one platform in a building the size of a big-box retail store. Its systems feature vertical plant towers, LED lighting and robots to plant, feed and harvest crops -- using 1 percent of the land that an outdoor farm requires while delivering anywhere from 150 to 350 times more food per acre. 

“To put it another way, they grow enough produce to fill a soccer field from the footprint of a single goal,” Storey says. 

Storey received a bachelor’s degree in agroecology and a Ph.D. in agronomy, both from UW. In 2011, he won the UW College of Business entrepreneurship competition with a plan to establish a business using vertical towers and other technology he developed and patented under license with the university. 

Bright Agrotech emerged from UW’s business incubator in 2015 and established an indoor farm in Laramie. The company was acquired by Plenty in 2017.

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