Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: June 7, 2024
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez, Christian.Martinez@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Youngkin Signs CEA Legislation and Announces Expansion of High-Tech Indoor Farm in Prince William County

Legislation clarifies CEA operations tangible personal property tax exemptions; Beanstalk Farms to invest $4.1 million in Prince William County

Legislation clarifies CEA operations tangible personal property tax exemptions; Beanstalk Farms to invest $4.1 million in Prince William County

Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs CEA Legislation and Announces Expansion of High-Tech Indoor Farm in Prince William County on June 6, 2024. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

RICHMOND, VA - Governor Glenn Youngkin led a celebration of the Commonwealth’s ongoing commitment to agricultural innovation yesterday by announcing the expansion of an indoor, vertical farm in Prince William County and signing legislation that clarifies tax relief measures for the controlled environment agriculture industry. 

The Governor announced that Beanstalk Farms Inc. will build its second indoor farm and distribution facility in the Freedom I-66 Industrial Business Park in Manassas. The project includes 18 new jobs and a capital investment of $4.1 million. Beanstalk Farms expects to produce 2.1 million pounds annually of Virginia Grown leafy greens and fresh-cut herbs. The Commonwealth is partnering with Prince William County and Beanstalk Farms through a Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grant. 

“Congratulations to Beanstalk Farms for their investment in this community and in Virginia. I am pleased that the Commonwealth’s pro-business climate and partnerships continue to be a factor in securing and scaling up projects such as this,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “The legislation I signed today reinforces Virginia's position as a top state for the controlled environment agriculture industry.”

“This is a great day for the future of controlled environment agriculture in Virginia. We are providing support for Beanstalk Farms expansion, encouraging investment in Prince William County, and creating high paying jobs to this area through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund grant award. In addition, Governor Youngkin is helping to spur growth in this industry by expanding tax relief through the approval of the agricultural sales tax exemption legislation last year and his signature today on the tangible personal property tax relief legislation,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. 

Following the economic development announcement, Governor Youngkin signed House Bill 1429 and Senate Bill 483, which clarifies that the existing classification of farm machinery includes CEA machinery, allowing localities to exempt equipment from personal property taxes, or adopt a reduced tax rate. The same exemption provisions already exist for traditional agricultural operations. The legislation was patroned by Senator Lashrecse Aird, Senate District 13, and Delegate Amy Laufer, House District 55. This is the second year that Governor Youngkin has signed agricultural technology tax exemption legislation. In 2023, the Governor signed legislation to exempt items used in the construction of controlled environment agriculture facilities from sales taxes. 

"The tangible personal property tax legislation is a key tool to the success of the controlled environment industry. My legislation is another step forward and ensures these operations and the equipment they use are treated the same as equipment used in traditional farm operations, further spurring investments in this cutting-edge industry,” said Senator Lashrecse Aird.

“HB1429’s passage helps to modernize and clarify our tax code, reduce food insecurity, and generate more agricultural business, providing a boost to Virginia’s rural communities whose local economies rely on over 41,000 farms that exist across our Commonwealth,” said Delegate Amy Laufer.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our next-generation farm in Manassas. At a 10x lower cost per acre than any other vertical farm, this facility demonstrates a new generation for indoor farming,” said Beanstalk Farms Co-Founder and CEO Mike Ross. “Our innovative, soil-based, and pesticide-free approach sets a new benchmark in sustainable agriculture. This facility will provide the DC market with the highest quality fresh produce every week of the year - rain or shine. Strategically located with excellent access to the Mid-Atlantic, bolstered by robust infrastructure, Virginia is the definitive choice for our expansion. We look forward to growing together and furthering innovations that promote a healthy and local food system.” 

“Our community is thrilled to welcome Beanstalk Farm’s flagship vertical farming production facility to Prince William County,” said Chair Deshundra Jefferson, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “Beanstalk’s founders, Jack Ross and Mike Ross are driving innovation and working to improve our global food system. Our county is proud to be a part of that progress." 

“It is great to see small Virginia-based businesses grow and thrive here in Prince William County. Beanstalk Farms is doing just that as they expand to a second production facility and create 18 new high-paying jobs in our growing community,” said Delegate Josh Thomas.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Prince William County, the Prince William County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Prince William to secure this new expansion project for the Commonwealth.Governor Youngkin approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Prince William County will match with local funds.  

Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs CEA Legislation and Announces Expansion of High-Tech Indoor Farm in Prince William County on June 6, 2024. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs CEA Legislation and Announces Expansion of High-Tech Indoor Farm in Prince William County on June 6, 2024. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs CEA Legislation and Announces Expansion of High-Tech Indoor Farm in Prince William County on June 6, 2024. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Governor Glenn Youngkin Signs CEA Legislation and Announces Expansion of High-Tech Indoor Farm in Prince William County on June 6, 2024. Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

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