The High-Tech Vertical Farmer


(electronic music) It might look like we’re
inside a spaceship, but this is actually a farm. (buzzing) The crops here are
grown mostly by machines with the help of just a few
humans, like this woman. Her life offers an early peek
at a new kind of farming. It’s a promising twist
to an ancient career, but only if the robots don’t
replace her altogether. (upbeat music) As technology replaces old jobs, it’s also creating new ones. I’m Aki Ito, and I’m here to show you the jobs of the future. (upbeat music) My name is Katie Morich,
and I’m a vertical farmer. Katie works for a three year old startup called Bowery. (intercom buzzes) Its farm is here, in this
industrial park in New Jersey. How are you? It’s the last place you’d expect to find any sign of life. We take extra precaution
to make sure we’re not bringing any
contaminants into the farm, so we’re gonna wear
hairnets, and then this is just gonna cover all
your street clothes. Katie wears a clean uniform every day. Visitors like me are handed
a non-negotiable jumpsuit. Alright. Step inside and you’ll see a cross between a factory and a lab. (shimmering notes) Trays of produce are vertically
stacked to save space, and each of them is given
just the right amount of light, water and nutrients at the optimal temperature and humidity. It’s an incredible level of precision, which is why Katie can
grow more faster with less water and no pesticides. (shimmering notes) It’s also what let’s her grow things that taste like nothing you’ve ever had before. What’s this? This is the sorrel. Mmm. That tastes like candy apple. Whoa!
That’s good, right? It’s so sour.
I know. The majority of this
facility is automated. (electronic notes) The data is collected by sensors and a computer controls growing
conditions for the crops. For the things that the
machines can’t do yet, Katie and her fellow
human farmers fill in, and even those tasks are dictated by the software that runs
this whole operation. It lets me know what I have to do, what time I should be doing it by, and that’s how I get my day done. Do you ever, like, rebel
against the computer’s orders? Uh, once in a while, if we’re trying to do a little experiment of
our own, we’ll be like, okay, is the system telling
us the correct things? Most of the time it is. All the time it’s right. (laughs) After a full day at the farm, Katie likes to bring home
samples to her husband, Jase, (blender whirrs)
and her cat, Burt. (blender stops) Salt, pepper? Maybe a little more…
Garlic? On the menu are two
items from Katie’s farm. Basil, for pesto pasta. That’s so good. And mixed greens for a salad. I’m terrified, everyone’s judging. Cheers, guys. Cheers.
Cheers. (bottles clink) Katie fell in love with environmental science in college, but after graduating she struggled to find a
full-time career in the field. Jase had to deal with me a lot (laughs), you know, coming home to me crying and trying to figure out if
I’m making the right decisions. And then, somehow,
online, Bowery popped up. She told me about this
job, like, Bowery Farming, it’s like an indoor, vertical
farm, and I was like, alright, this sounds like total BS. So, I took my work truck
and I said, “You know, let me swing around and see
what this is all about.” So I drove up to it, doesn’t look like there’s
a farm in there at all. So I called her and I was
like, “Listen, I know you’re psyched about this job, but
it seems super sketchy.” But I figured I’d go and
check it out for myself and I pulled up and it was
exactly as how he described, but I gave it a shot. And so in 2017, Katie joined Bowery. She became employee number nine. (door shuts) This is really my first real,
full-time, big-girl job. (indistinct chatter) And it was a little intimidating at first, coming into this company
with people that have like, their PHD and I don’t
necessarily have that background, so I constantly doubted myself when I first started at Bowery. I wasn’t worried about
her at all, you know. She said to us, “Can I do this?” And I used to tell her to have
a little faith in herself. Katie grew up in a
typical New Jersey suburb with two working parents. They’ve tried to stay away
from putting too much pressure on their only child. When we heard about what she was doing and realized that this is
something that didn’t exist when we were younger and I
thought back from my generation, you know, PC’s came out
when I started working and my parents probably
would’ve said I was crazy if I went into an IT field at the time, but now look what happened. So, it’s not a good idea
for us to try to tell her what to do because it’s a different world. (beeping) Bowery is backed by some of Silicon Valley’s top investors. And with almost $30
million dollars of funding, the startup is expanding fast. And in May, after all that time
she spent doubting herself, Katie got promoted to lead
a team of her own farmers. The produce she grows supplies
a few nearby grocery stores as well as this restaurant in Manhattan. (pan sizzles) It’s less than 10 miles
away from the Bowery farm. What do you think? It’s delicious! (both laugh) You made that. It’s like, crazy to see
stuff I grew on a plate. Alright, let me get some of… But for Katie, it’s not just about making premium vegetables for
people who can afford them. I want people to have the
purest produce imaginable, and I want that to be
readily available to anybody. (electronic music) The world’s population is set to reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. Two-thirds will live in cities. And we’re gonna need all
kinds of new technology to sustainably feed everyone. The key to making that food affordable is to continue to make
more with fewer farmers. But no matter how high-tech all this gets, Katie thinks there will
still be a place for her. I just think there’s something about the human mind that you
can’t really replicate. So I think we could still
work closely with technology, but I still think it’s
nice to have a human there. It’ll also be pretty lonely for the robots if they don’t have anybody
to talk to. (laughs) (beeping)

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100 thoughts on “The High-Tech Vertical Farmer

  1. I know that feeling of not being able to find a job and that feeling walking in with others having a higher education than I.

  2. Im tired of living in the city. I want to live in the country side and have a farm with lots of animals and fresh produce.

  3. The farmers add made me cry and sad because he was going to sell his land but happy at the end the didnt and jump into the next level of farming.

  4. I like katie, she has a nice ass, but I'm confused, the title of the video says "High-Tech Vertical Farming"!!! No "Katie has a new job". Fix that pls.

  5. Katie Katie katie katie katie katie katie Katie Katie katie katie katie katie katie Katie Katie katie katie katie katie katie Katie Katie katie katie katie katie katie

  6. "I just think that there's something about the human mind that you can't really replicate" lmao, you work in such a high tech industry and still believe this to be the case.

  7. I imagine one of the biggest advantages to this farming technology is that due to being a completely controlled environment, they can use much less pesticide and not have to worry about pest control as much.

  8. Roots need enzymes is nutrient water or just even plain water or rins/flush. Hygrozyme is an amazing product and company as well. Nice overall though

  9. I worked for this company, they are scumbags. Typical "start-up" company that has no concern for it's employees, low pay, mandatory brainwashing, long hours, difficult working conditions etc. For her sake (she was a really nice person to work with) I hope she got paid for this bullshit promo but I fear she didn't.

  10. The key note in the whole video was at 6:58 where it says "Premium vegetables for people who can afford them". Yeah… solving food problems for the rich people who can afford it. Really altruistic. Vertical farming is not a solution, it's an alternative for a selected few.

  11. Like a vertical farm has to be located by a big city in order to command a profit. However, if you grew marijuana there you could keep an eye on yields and regulate it out of every corner of town and country.

  12. Its people who conduct the work and contribute their time at work for any company's growth.
    Wise Human Resource is always an Asset for any company.
    So the Story have to explained in better way only when we put FOCUS ON KATIE as an Employee and show the Entire BUSINESS .

    That will Encourage lot of YOUNGSTER'S to JOIN & SELECT♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒ ADVANCE ORGANIC FARMING as a stable financial Career.

    ALL the space RESEARCH to survive on other PLANET is possible only if we can grow food in controlled Atmosphere.
    ♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒♒ waves frquency for better Healthy Life without BLOOD CANCER DETECTION .

    OK

  13. An intergration of this with space travel will ensure food for the astronauts for years in their exploration…

  14. There are no minerals and vitamins in these vegetables, because the soil which contains all the minerals and vitamins is replaced with water. So eating 1pound of normal lettuce is equivalent to eating 15 pounds of lettuce made in this laboratory.
    ☝️❗️❗️❗️☝️🤷‍♂️

  15. if people don't already know, vegetables are what's making them sick so keep believing the corporate lie. scientists pretending to be farmers

  16. The video has been inspiration for all of us the Technology Used that was unbelievable At without phd Anf that will reduce the Labour but increase the Technology Work and efficieny.

  17. Cannot substitute natural farming…….this way farming makes people to get ready to admit in hospital soon……

  18. “There’s something about the human mind you just can’t copy”…yet

    I choked on my water when I heard her say that. There is nothing that a machine will not be able to do better

  19. As tech replaces 10 regular kale farming jobs, it creates 1 kale farming job for a vertical kale farmer, and a fraction of a job to make and maintain the structure.

  20. 🏢⚙🔬💎⚓🌈🌱🌱🌱🥬🥬🥬📀📀📀💎💥💥💥💧🍎🍎🍎💰💰💰⚙⌚📀💎👍👍👍💥💥💥🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹👋👋👋👋👋👋👋👋👋👋

  21. So she has a university degree and the debt that go's along with it , and she is doing Mexican farm labor, in a factory.The future is looking sooo bright.

  22. have they been able to grow anything other than leafy greens? Like beans or squash? How would they accomplish pollination?

  23. "As technology replaces old jobs its also creating new job" most of the time they fails to mention is that over long term you loose more number of jobs than what few new jobs its creates. I work in IT sector and these new technological innovation(mainly in automation) cannot be compared to 19th century industrial revolution is any way. And the automation is not only coming in industrial sector but also in IT sector.

  24. 1:07 This shot's funny. She had to close the door in the cameraman's face, then he runs down the stairs and she closes the door again, then she lets him in. That's production value.

  25. Goddamn I am so fucking sick of hearing about jobs. Gotta get a job, what job do you do, what job do you want when you grow up, there's no jobs, they took our jobs, job job job job job. What was wrong with simply building our own houses and growing our own food and just living?

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