Helping To Feed The World With Cutting-Edge Farming Techniques

Welcome back to Build Your Dream, the American Lending Center blog.

Last month ALC was pleased to be part of the ribbon-cutting event for a large vertical farming and greenhouse facility in Mount Pleasant, Texas. The project was developed by Local Bounti, an experienced high-tech farming company with four operating facilities across the country – the Mount Pleasant farm will be the fifth.

This is the second large vertical farm operation that ALC, through its EB-5 investment program, has helped get off the ground. The first was an Americus Fresh facility in Georgia near the Jimmy Carter Regional Airport.

Making A Difference

As the world’s climate changes and the world’s population grows, the amount of agricultural land shrinks. It will take new technologies to feed our neighbors and ourselves.
But these technologies don’t grow by themselves. It takes resources, and that’s where we step in. ALC has found a way to use the American government’s EB-5 investment program to provide those resources. I’m particularly happy to work with others to make a difference in such an important goal as feeding our world.

Community Benefits

One of ALC’s goals, and a goal of the EB-5 program, is to improve the quality of life in the communities where projects are located. Mount Pleasant is a town of around 20,000 people in an area of rural Texas. Unemployment is higher than the national average.

The solution? Create jobs. This project created 489 jobs during the construction, which lasted more than a year. And now that the farm is up and running, there are 31 new permanent jobs in Mount Pleasant.

That’s improving the quality of life.

While Mount Pleasant is rural, it is close enough to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to deliver freshly harvested produce to hundreds of thousands of people year-round. Now, most of those people must rely on shipments of produce from Arizona and California.

That’s improving the quality of life, too.

Leveraging Technology

Several types of vertical farming have been developed in the last few years leaning on recently developed high-tech, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is a matter of working smarter — something that I certainly try to do.

Local Bounti’s approach is unique, with a two-step hydroponic approach. There are six vertical indoor hydroponic grow towers to start several varieties of leafy greens growing from seeds. Those baby plants are moved to a controlled environment greenhouse to finish growing and be packaged for shipping.

When operating at capacity, the Mount Pleasant farm is expected to produce 9 million pounds of leafy greens a year – on a total of 42 acres of land in an industrial park! In general, controlled environment facilities like this use 90 percent less water than traditional farming and create 67-92 percent less CO2. That’s while increasing yields of lettuce per acre by 20 times or more.

I am honored that ALC is playing a part in making a difference by supporting projects such as these. At the same time, we are able to help immigrants who desire to come to this country. It is truly a win-win.

We are Building Your Dream.

Thanks for reading.

John Shen

CEO and founder

American Lending Center

About American Lending Center: A Financial Times (FT) America’s Fastest Growing Company   

American Lending Center (ALC) is a private nonbank lending institution and nationally recognized leader in small business lending.

In early 2024, ALC has fully financed senior loan products to 94 qualified EB-5 projects in 31 states, contributing to a combined construction and business expansion budget of over 1.2 billion dollars. ALC’s lending practice has successfully created more than 20,000 new jobs nationwide since 2009.

In 2022, ALC launched its new rural construction and development fund with capital available for the construction of fixed assets of all types in rural areas including manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, hospitality, specialty use, multi-use and other project types.  Follow American Lending Center on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.