Farming Solutions for a Sustainable (and Less Scary) Future

Farming Solutions - FarmBox Foods

Farming Solutions are needed – It seems every day you come across a news story that paints a very bleak future for traditional farming and the consumers who benefit from it.

We’ll briefly explore the many challenges facing the agricultural industry, but we’ll also posit some potential ways for farming operations large and small to adapt to changing times and conditions.

Shifting climate patterns are making it vastly more difficult to predict whether a crop will make it to harvest. Heat waves, hail storms, cold snaps and floods have become more pervasive and intense in recent years. Even crops that may not be directly affected by catastrophes, like the severe drought currently gripping the western portion of the U.S., are being indirectly impacted by residual factors, like smoke from wildfires.

We’re also facing other crippling issues without a foreseeable fix. Supply chains that support agriculture have been stretched to their limit since the beginning of the pandemic for a variety of reasons, including transportation availability, labor shortages, and associated delays affecting raw material sourcing. And the skyrocketing cost of fertilizer is further complicating matters for traditional farming operations and having an outsized impact on already-thin profit margins.

But what if there was a way to circumvent these issues using innovations in agtech? It sounds impossible, and while it comes with its own set of challenges, indoor growing, especially in urban areas, could be a big part of the answer going forward. 

Science and tech have come a long way in the last decade (hello, sensor technology!), allowing growers to do much more with much less in a smaller footprint. And hyperlocal farming means produce grows near the consumer, eliminating supply chain-related woes. Instead of spending the first half of its shelf life in transit, veggies get to the end user much quicker, resulting in less food waste. Local growing also reduces the need to burn fossil fuels to get food to its destination, and empowers communities to gain more control over their own food supply.

It’s hard to put a value on security and reliability, and we certainly won’t attempt to, but controlled-environment agriculture allows people to harvest large yields year-round without external variables getting in the way. There’s also no need for fertilizers or pesticides, which takes possible contamination of drinking water out of the equation. 

The practice is gaining momentum worldwide and already having an impact on sourcing for grocery chains, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and food banks. Likewise, farmers are embracing the technology because it provides a security blanket in uncertain times.

Personal values, experience lead new executive VP Joseph Cammack to FarmBox Foods

Joseph Cammack - FarmBox Foods

It’s a mix of professional experience and personal values that brought Joseph Cammack to FarmBox Foods.

As a teen, Joseph took a job on a farm in eastern Washington and quickly learned the value of hard work while growing and harvesting wheat, barley and garbanzo beans. His interest in farming and the impact of nutritious food on the overall quality of life for people worldwide is in lockstep with FarmBox Foods’ mission of providing a secure source of food to all, regardless of their circumstances.

Joseph’s strong entrepreneurial spirit manifested itself early in life; he earned money running lemonade stands and mowing lawns as a kid. Later, while pursuing a degree in business management with a double emphasis in entrepreneurship and supply chain management at Brigham Young University-Idaho, he launched his own startup and helped grow it into the successful company it is today. Joseph even created a program that supports up-and-coming entrepreneurs and gives them the ability to test the efficacy of their business model before investing significant time and money.

His experience at small, large and medium-sized businesses has provided valuable insight into what drives a company’s success. It also helped him determine where to aim his skills while helping to implement Centura Health’s food security initiatives in Colorado. Joseph came to the FarmBox Foods team in March 2022 as executive vice president, and is helping further expand the reach of the tools that provide farm-fresh food to communities in need.

“It’s mission-driven, and that’s what really drove me to pursue the opportunity to join the team,” he said. “I’m always looking for a purpose greater than myself.”

When he’s not at work, the married father of two children plays basketball, hunts and goes on family hikes. He is also an avid reader and a movie buff with an affinity for action and sci-fi flicks.