Controlled Environment Agriculture: Connected Urban Farming

January 28, 2022 12:00 pm
Ethan Mora

Founder and CEO, Vertical Agri-Tech

Nathan Baird

Vice President of Engineering, AgriTech

Ben Kaufman

Vice President of Agroecology & Mycology, AgriTech

Controlled environment agriculture is becoming a popular phrase, but few understand what it takes to have a successful operation.

Greenhouses equipped with the most sustainable vertical farming technology allow you to grow and harvest the highest quality produce year-round anywhere in the world.

This is a game-changer for agriculture. Controlled environment agriculture means more food and less waste or more crop per drop. If controlled environment agriculture is something you are involved with or thinking about, or just interested in the subject, this webinar is for you.

We have assembled three of the best minds in controlled environment agriculture to help us understand the current state of the industry and future opportunities.

In 2021, Venture Capitalists invested nearly $6 billion in Controlled Environment Agriculture (“CEA”) and tech juggernauts Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are backing some prominent players in this quickly-emerging market.

But is CEA headed for the Trough of Disillusionment? In this webinar, an engineer, an agro-ecologist, and an attorney discuss the CEA industry, the state of the art in CEA technologies, barriers that modern farmers must overcome, and opportunities in CEA. Topics discussed include: Big data, technology adaptations, regulations, certifications, machine learning, and aeroponics.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  1. What is controlled environment agriculture and the science and practices behind it
  2. The current state of agriculture and why we need to pivot
  3. The current controlled environment landscape
  4. The risks and regulations in the industry
  5. The opportunities available today
  6. The future of controlled environment agriculture


Ethan Mora

Founder and CEO, Vertical AgriTech

Ethan began designing and inventing agricultural technology solutions in 2018. As a practicing attorney, he leverages his knowledge and expertise in labor, food, and technology regulations, as well as land use/zoning laws, to help Vertical AgriTech develop compliant, standardized products and innovative business strategies. 

Ethan has a BA from UC Santa Barbara, and a JD from UC Irvine. He was born and raised in Fresno, where he lives today with his wife Alexandra and his dog Luna. Ethan is an avid gardener, aspiring chef, and a struggling long-distance runner, who is looking forward to learning a new language (Python).

Nathan Baird

Vice President of Engineering, AgriTech

Nathan began developing aeroponics and CEA technologies in 2018, while he was a student at Fresno State. As a mechanical engineer, Nathan developed and built one of the world’s most advanced fully-automated high-pressure aeroponic systems. Nathan is using his skills and expertise to help Vertical AgriTech design and build solutions that take the guess work out of growing.

Nathan has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Fresno State. Nathan was born and raised in California’s Central Valley. He lives in Hanford with his wife Katy and his daughter Josephine. Nathan is a devoted family man, decent skateboarder, and an avid lover of the outdoors who is looking forward to teaching his daughter to snowboard.

Ben Kaufman

Vice President of Agroecology & Mycology, AgriTech

Ben has been designing CEA and regenerative agriculture systems since 2008, when he and his father first founded Shibumi Farms in Princeton, New Jersey (which quickly became one of the most successful mushroom farms in the nation).

As an experienced agroecologist, mycologist, chef, and award-winning sommelier, Ben has grown and sold some of the world’s best ingredients to the world’s best restaurants, vinified wines (including Sfuso di Barano), brewed craft beers, served as the Director and/or General Manager for several prominent restaurants and beverage companies, and had his brands and products featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Popular Mechanics, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker, among others.

Ben uses his agri-food experiences to help Vertical AgriTech develop efficient and sustainable technologies designed for the future of modern farming, and optimized for a wide range of agricultural applications. 

Ben attended Cook College at Rutgers University where he graduated with his BS in Biology. He resides in Huntington, Long Island, with his spouse Andrea, his daughter Nora, his dog Mufasa, and his two cats Keidis and Clementine. Ben is an inspired photographer, an imaginative chef, and an artistic farmer who is looking forward to traveling somewhere warm.

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Connor Cunningham Photo
Connor Cunningham

Technical Sales & Project Manager – Jain Monitoring and Control

Born and raised in the Central Valley; Connor completed his Biology degree at Fresno state. He has been working in the Ag tech and research spaces for the past 4 years developing various types of projects for a multitude of growers. These projects applied monitoring and control devices to both permanent and row crops across California. He joined the Jain team back in December of 2019 and is based in the Fresno area.