( File photo )

Vertical farms company AeroFarms, Newark, N.J., is investing $42 million to build a 150,000-square-foot aeroponic facility in rural Virginia.

The operation, in an industrial park that’s a joint venture for the city of Danville and Pittsylvania, is the 10th facility for Aerofarms. Virginia was in competition with North Carolina for the project, according to a news release from the office of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

Financing includes $200,000 from Virginia’s Commonwealth Opportunity Fund, $200,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund and $190,000 from the Tobacco Regional Opportunity Fund, according to the release.

AeroFarms also qualifies for benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program and job creation support from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“AeroFarms is a leader in agricultural innovation with farming technologies that make high-quality, local produce available to more communities,” Northam said in the release. “We are bringing capital investment and economic opportunity to rural Virginia by recruiting innovative companies like AeroFarms.”

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring said agriculture is Virginia’s largest private-sector industry.

“I look forward to working with AeroFarms as they expand the use of agriculture technology to strengthen Virginia’s food system and provide increased access to healthy foods,” Ring said in the release.

Aerofarms grows leafy greens including kale and arugula, along with herbs and Dream Greens, a line of baby greens and microgreens.

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