April 20, 2021 - Iron Ox—a leader in robotics and AI-enabled farming with a mission to solve food insecurity—is proud to announce that construction is officially underway for a 535,000 Sq foot indoor hydroponic farm in the city of Lockhart, located at 1205 Reed Drive, Lockhart, TX 78644. A groundbreaking ceremony in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Lockhart is scheduled on Tuesday, April 20 at 12:30 p.m. CT.
Once completed, the farm—which sits on 25 acres of agricultural land— will significantly increase Iron Ox’s growing capacity for fresh, clean and healthy herbs, leafy greens, berries, and vine crops. The state-of-the-art indoor facility will be fully dedicated to growing techniques harnessing the power of robotics and intelligence, enabling Iron Ox—a California-based company—to grow sustainable, local produce to serve the Texas community. Lockhart is an ideal location for greenhouse agriculture given its ample sunlight, central location near many cities, and it’s proximity to several great universities.
The indoor farm is expected to cost over $10 million to develop, with 275,000 square feet of the project anticipated to complete by Q4 2020 and 260,000 square feet of the project anticipated to complete by Q1 2022. The project’s General Contractor is Arco Murray National Construction Company, and the Architectural Design Firm is GMA Architects. In total, the project will create over 100 jobs.
“The addition of Iron Ox to the Lockhart business community represents synergy between our
city’s storied history in agriculture and our growing technology sector,” said Lockhart Mayor Lew White. “The food and beverage processing industry is one of four business sectors Lockhart has targeted in its 5-year economic growth plan. Our city’s unique advantages align perfectly with the needs of companies like Iron Ox.”
Iron Ox expects to complete their first harvest and to begin delivering sustainable, local produce to select chefs and retailers throughout Texas by the completion of 2021. It is anticipated that Lockhart’s hydroponic facility will grow thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Each crop type is cared for by Iron Ox’s expert growers and empowered by a robotic growing process ensuring year-round consistency, quality, and flavor.
“We have made it our mission to address food security by developing autonomous greenhouses that grow a variety of local and consistently delicious food for everyone”, says Brandon Alexander, Iron Ox CEO & Co-founder. “We’re excited to begin development of our newest indoor farm here in Lockhart—our first out-of-state facility. We look forward to further developing ties to the local community and to expanding our partnerships and distribution channels throughout the state of Texas.”
Iron Ox is dedicated to addressing some of the most significant issues in food security, now and in the future. Focused on sustainable, scalable food production for a changing climate and an ever growing population, the Iron Ox process eases the growing pressure of food waste and labor scarcity by providing a stable supply of fresh, nutritious food for local communities.
Iron Ox designed their growing system around the sun, an approach that uses less energy than other modern forms of farming. Their hydroponic growing system uses 90% less water over traditional farming while growing 30 times the amount of crops per acre of land; allowing Iron Ox to deliver on their mission to increase access to premium produce, for everyone; because, when it comes to locally grown food, quality shouldn’t be a luxury, and quantity shouldn’t be a compromise.
Iron Ox currently operates two hydroponic farms located in Gilroy and San Carlos, California. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iron Ox are continually updating policies to keep all facilities clean and safe.
For further information on Iron Ox, please visit the company’s website.
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Natalie Mazzarella - Skoog Co