Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet




Bright Agrotech
Laramie, WY

Bright Agrotech is a small company working in the high plains of Laramie, Wyoming. A quickly growing agricultural technology start-up, the effect of Bright Agrotech’s technology is spreading rapidly.

The vision of the company is to equip consumers and farmers to build a brighter future. At our headquarters, all Bright Agrotech employees share this vision as important team members who are involved in the direction and values of the company. As a benefit of employment, all workers receive weekly share of vegetables from the company CSA that produces food year round at 7200 feet elevation. In addition, Bright Agrotech offers unequivocal learning opportunities for workers. New employees and interns are given a look into the inner workings of a small business and challenged to take initiative in new projects.

The Bright Agrotech vision was born when Dr. Nate Storey identified a problem that affects both consumers and growers: the distance between the farm and the plate.

For consumers, ZipGrow technology offers a means to feed families fresh food on a regular basis or to grow their own. It offers the ability to grow crops almost anywhere, from the rooftops of New York City, to classrooms in California, to farms in Minnesota.

For farmers, ZipGrow vertical towers mean high density and low labor food production. Farmers with little experience can start a farm with a relatively small amount of money, spend 60 percent less on labor costs, and serve a high margin product to a variety of markets. In human terms: it allows farmers to feed their families while doing something good for the world. In addition to low labor costs, ZipGrow technology reduces labor difficulty. There are no long hours spent in a field, no life-threatening equipment being used, no bending over to weed or harvest.

Now Bright Agrotech works not only in manufacturing a revolutionary tool, but in helping anyone, anywhere to grow. Their efforts have resulted in dozens of successful farms and thousands of vertical gardens around the world.

One Bright Agrotech employee says: "When I started at Bright Agrotech, I confided to Nate that I didn't have any marketing or business experience. (I'm a science major.) I expected him to say 'That's ok. You'll learn.' But he went a step further. He told me that being inexperienced could actually help me. I think he knew that I learned best by doing, and he knew that I would succeed if I learned as I went. I have learned better this way, and it was his effort to manage his employees on an individual basis that made the difference. I've seen Nate and Chris do this with every employee that comes into Bright Agrotech, and the result is impressive. We work extremely well together -- we challenge each other and support each other. We all work really hard and it's rewarding to see that hard work pays off.  I asked Nate about his philosophy on managing employees to craft a successful workplace. He said, "Hire smart risk-takers and then give them the reins."

The people of Bright Agrotech.
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