On September 24-25, the STEP area hosted an interdisciplinary design workshop on Urban Farming.
The workshop brought together architects, hydroponic growers, engineers, marketing professionals, and entrepreneurs, as well as University of Minnesota students. Divided in three teams, the participants developed a model and business plan for a Food Hub and Vertical Farm sited in Richfield, Minnesota. On Friday, each team presented their plan to a panel of judges, and a winning team was chosen.
“There were moments where I thought that we had no consensus, but at the end we were able to develop a model and present it in a way that awarded us the first place in the competition,” Mauricio Leon, participating STEP student said.
“The workshop was an amazing opportunity to meet people and put skills in to practice. What made it really interesting was the seriousness and passion with which we took the challenge. Urban agriculture is a concept that is already gaining territory in developed nations that want to maximize space and be more self-sufficient. The United States is only starting, but I think urban agriculture is likely to going to gain much more attention in the future years.”
The event was organized in partnership with the Minnesota Sustainable Development Group (MNSDG), the Association for Vertical Farming and Blue Planet Consulting, and included a keynote lecture by STEP professor Anu Ramaswami.