University leases Springfield silos to urban farming startup

3 years 2 days 4 hours ago Thursday, February 18 2016 Feb 18, 2016 Thursday, February 18, 2016 3:53:10 PM CST February 18, 2016 in News
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Two clusters of silos owned by Missouri State University could soon be used to grow lettuce, mushrooms and other vegetables downtown.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the university's governing board voted Wednesday to lease the 21 silos to a Springfield startup, which plans to use water-based methods to grow food.

Manager and general counsel for the company, David Geisler, said the company wants to see if it can redefine city farming through vertical farming. The company hopes to replicate the effort in other abandoned storage silos if the project is successful.

Allen Kunkel, director of the university's Jordan Valley Innovation Center, which is adjacent to the silo clusters, said the company could gain an advantage in the market if it's able to grow food year-round in a safe, controlled environment.

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