Future Farm has already secured site control of a facility in Mobile, Alabama and is in the process of completing that facility’s design and budget. The property consists of 21,123-sf under roof and 2.71 acres of land. The facility design is underway and is expected to be completed within 2-3 weeks.
The Company is also pleased to announce that it has identified a site and negotiations are under way with respect to the previously announced second location in Baltimore. This particular site is more accommodating to the Company’s controlled environment agriculture (“CEA”) technology and requires less construction build-out.
CBO Financial will act as the Company’s financial advisor with respect to New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) and will be arranging for $4,000,000 in NMTC-based financing for the Alabama farm. The NMTC program is a $65 billion federal program designed to incentivize private investment in low-income communities. NMTCs are provided to financial institutions in exchange for equity investments that eligible businesses can use to subsidize project development costs. CBO Financial helps driven organizations, such as Future Farm, to finance facilities that will provide goods and services that benefit populations in need and revitalize communities.
“We see this second project with Volunteers of America and CBO Financial as a new and important milestone for Future Farm as it now positions us with almost 75,000 sq ft. of indoor urban farming, making us a major multi-state player in the rapidly growing vertical farming market,” says Mr. William Gildea, Future Farm’s CEO and Chairman. “Our goal was always to create impactful social and corporate programs that are mutually beneficial for all involved, from the community, to the Company and our shareholders. Partnering with Volunteers of America and CBO Financial puts us in the position to achieve that goal.”
The primary objectives of all three locations (two in MD and one in AL) remain the same — establish economical and environmentally friendly vertical farms; provide job training opportunities (specifically to the VOA’s reentry program for ex-offenders in Baltimore, MD and to the mentally disadvantaged/formerly homeless community in Mobile, AL) as well as to the local communities of both; provide therapeutic programs, which will be expanded to the disabled population; support entrepreneurship development; and establish a model for replication at other reentry and social services facilities.
One of the primary objectives of the projects is to provide opportunities to develop therapeutic programs involving all aspects of planting, growing/nurturing, harvesting and selling plants. The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) defines “Horticultural Therapy” as the “engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals.” AHTA believes that Horticultural Therapy (HT) is an active process, which occurs in the context of an established treatment plan where the process itself is considered the therapeutic activity rather than the end product. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. Today, HT is accepted as a beneficial and effective therapeutic modality and is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational, and community settings. HT helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization. In physical rehabilitation, HT can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. In vocational HT settings, people learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions.