August 8, 2019

Conf. Keynote Jonathan Webb-American Entrepreneur/Kentucky Proud

KLC Conference & Expo
Learn. Network. Energize.
Join us for Kentucky’s largest annual gathering of city officials!
September 24 - 27, Northern Kentucky Convention Center

Keynote: Planting Seeds of Innovation in our Cities, Jonathan Webb, AppHarvest

A Kentucky native and University of Kentucky graduate, Jonathan Webb is turning his dream of a high-tech farming hub in Appalachia into reality with AppHarvest. The company is building some of the largest indoor farms in the world, combining conventional agricultural techniques with today’s technology to grow non-GMO, chemical-free produce to be sold to the top 25 U.S. grocers.

The company’s first greenhouse will span 60 acres and open in 2020 in Morehead, Ky. The greenhouse will operate entirely on rainwater using a 10-acre retention pond, reducing water usage by 90% compared to a typical farm.Why locate in Appalachia? Like every Kentuckian, Jonathan grew up knowing of the devastating job losses in the region. His grandmother grew up in Whitley County, where a coal mining accident killed his great-grandfather. Jonathan strives to work alongside the hard-working men and women of Eastern Kentucky and build an inclusive economy for the future.

By locating within Appalachia, the company is also less than a day’s drive to more than two-thirds of the U.S. population. That lowers transportation costs by 75%, allowing AppHarvest's fresher produce to better compete against low-cost foreign imports.

Other highlights: 

  • Over 50 energizing workshops and roundtables
  • Great networking
  • Keynote: The Future of Kentucky Downtowns is Here Now- Roger Brooks, Destination Development Association 
  • Gubernatorial Forum
  • Expo & Exhibit Hall
  • KLC Awards and Training Awards
  • Charity and Veterans' Projects
  • Morning Energy Walk
  • City Shirt Day on September 25