FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harvest Nation advances as a Finalist in the 2020 MN Cup with its indoor, aeroponic CSA farm business pitch.
August 17, 2020 Tower, MN – Harvest Nation, an indoor aeroponic CSA farm that is 100% Women and Native-owned company, is one of 27 ventures moving onto the Finalist Round of the 2020 MN Cup Business Competition hosted by the Carlson School of Management (see the MN Cup press release here to see a full list of finalists). The farm’s business pitch centered around indoor food production through aeroponics with direct sales to individuals and families as an alternative to main-stream food distribution. Its first farm, planned for construction in the Soudan Underground Mine, is a three year pilot demonstration that will expand into a full-commercial venture in four-to-five years. The vision for the pilot project is to provide a local source of quality health food direct to area families while showcasing the future of aeroponic technology and indoor agriculture for long-term food and nutrition security.
Last year in 2019, Harvest Nation did not advance beyond the Semi-Finals, and so the team is ecstatic that their progress last year did not go unnoticed. The team completed market, technical, and financial research in 2019 with funding from the Blandin Foundation (Grand Rapids, MN). Results are in a feasibility study completed in early 2020 and in a health-promotional E-booklet called “Healthy Eating & Living on the Iron Range and Bois Forte Reservations,” a free PDF e-booklet available online on at Harvest Nation’s Blog.
Harvest Nation is confident its new grow space design helped its efforts to advance as MN Cup Finalists compared to last year. The team received technical assistance from DesignU, a self-operated entrepreneurial club organized by UMN students, to co-create modular grow bins that can accommodate a larger variety crop sizes, which equates to more cost-effectiveness in their operation.
A chance meeting with a Soudan Mine State Park official last winter at a local food tourism meeting may allow for Harvest Nation to continue the futuristic use of the space, where dark matter research and neutrino studies were performed in the past. This, too, Harvest Nation is sure aided its advancement to the Finalist Round in MN Cup.
In a press release in April, 2020, Harvest Nation announced its fundraising for a three year pilot demonstration project starting with 100 customers, which is now expected to cost $1.89M for the full three years. Fundraising was stalled due to available funding channels being directed at immediate covid19 relief efforts, where Harvest Nation, still in development, sees itself as a long-term food security and nutrition solution. Once financing is secured, the farm anticipates 8 months until its first full production cycle. The team is gearing up to reignite fundraising efforts this fall.
If you are interested in pre-registering to be one of Harvest Nation’s first customers, they have an online easy sign-up procedure. There are no fees involved. If at the time of actual registration for the pilot program, there is no obligation to commit to participating in the program. If you reside on the Iron Range or Bois Forte, and truly see yourself making use of Harvest Nation’s CSA farm box, they ask for you to fill out a pre-signup form online at: https://bit.ly/2XzCrTY.
There is no date just yet as to when this pilot farm will start. When it’s time, Harvest Nation will launch a Crowdfunding platform to presell subscriptions to the farm with at least one month of advertising in advance to get the word out. It anticipates it will about $55 per week for this subscription produce box where customers will have the choice to pay the years’ subscription upfront, or can submit monthly or bi-weekly payments online.
For questions or comments, please contact Denise by cell: 218-421-9665, or by email: [email protected].