We are working with some of the strongest leaders in the industry and the region to bring our vision to life.
Revolution's Rise of The Rest® seed fund (ROTR) is managed by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case, and NYT best-selling author J.D. Vance, and is backed by over 30 iconic business leaders including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, fashion designer Tory Burch and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt. ROTR supports entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley and other coastal tech hubs. It is a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. This is the beginning of a new era for entrepreneurship across the U.S. — high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities.
The University of Pikeville is working alongside AppHarvest in its goal of making Eastern Kentucky the high-tech greenhouse capital in the U.S. AppHarvest is currently operating from an office located in UPIKE’s new Health Professions Education Building. The university is actively exploring the idea of developing curriculum that aligns with the high-tech Ag industry and specifically provides valuable skills desired by AppHarvest’s large-scale greenhouse operation. UPIKE President Dr. Burton J. Webb and Provost Dr. Lori Werth are working with Wageningen University & Research and HAS University of Applied Sciences. Both institutions are located in the Netherlands, which has earned a reputation for being the high-tech Ag capital of the world. UPIKE President Dr. Burton J. Webb said, “Businesses like AppHarvest are looking to Appalachia because of our beautiful surroundings, willing workforce and open arms. We are pleased that AppHarvest and Rise of The Rest have partnered to invest in the lives of Appalachians as we work together to build a new, more diverse economy.” The two Webbs, who are of no familial relation, quickly formed a collaborative relationship.
"The network of high-tech greenhouses by AppHarvest will not only serve as a catalyst to provide high-quality, affordable produce to the United States, but it will serve as a model for rural economic development built on the ideas that true transformation occurs when you empower those vested in the region to dream, to explore, and to achieve."
- Jared Arnett, Executive Director, SOAR
"We are planting seeds of innovation and hope in Eastern Kentucky with home-grown engineers, like AppHarvest, leading the way as we strive to bring Silicon Valley to Silicon Holler,” said Congressman Hal Rogers. “We are developing a high-tech workforce for high-tech enterprise in the Appalachian region to elevate our competitive edge for jobs and economic development. The resiliency and sheer talent of our people are the very reasons why we are able to diversify our economy and advance incredible ideas, like these high-tech greenhouses, in one of the most rural parts of the country."
– Congressman Hal Rogers
"This project will capitalize on increasing demand for US-grown produce, technical innovation, the opportunity to recapture market share from beyond our borders, and an available workforce. This is an exciting opportunity that could change the economic trajectory of the entire region for decades to come."
– Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner
“AppHarvest is a perfect fit for our diversifying economy in Eastern Kentucky. We’re thrilled to be working with Johnathan Webb to bring this new industry into our community. We believe this is a win-win situation for Pikeville, AppHarvest, and Eastern Kentucky.”
– Mayor Jimmy Carter
"Eastern Kentucky is continually seeking ways to diversify and attract much-needed jobs to our region,” he said. “Many of our people lost their jobs because of the decline in the coal industry. Our region stands ready with a willing and skilled workforce to meet this company’s needs. We are pleased that AppHarvest is locating in our region and look forward to their success, along with the economic boost they will bring to Eastern Kentucky."
– Sen. Ray Jones of Pikeville, KY
"I am thrilled to welcome AppHarvest to Pikeville. Eastern Kentucky is home to a dedicated and reliable workforce. We continue to work diligently in diversifying our economy, and AppHarvest is a welcome addition to our business community."
– Rep. John Blanton of Salyersville
Sunset is a fourth-generation family owned greenhouse company. After four generations, the Mastronardi family still owns and manages what is now the leading greenhouse vegetable company in North America, growing and selling world-class tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, baby eggplants and berries. The company continues to pioneer new greenhouse technology, sustainable growing practices, and the protection of heritage, old-world produce varieties.