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There's a new way to farm in Wisconsin, without using real sunlight

It could produce about 2.4 million packages a year to our area.
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Posted at 5:24 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 23:24:43-05

KENOSHA, Wis. — We take you to a farm in our Two Americas report. One you may not recognize.

These cargo containers have been transformed into greenhouses.

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Right in Kenosha will be a two-story high farm with windows. The windows are not for the plants, but to keep workers like Bradley Schuler at Square Roots happy. "We don't have to worry so much about the weather and the climate. We can place the farms in really great locations that can make the supply chains a lot less complicated," said Schuler.

The goal is to get the product to the consumer with less waste. The majority of what they plan to grow is lettuce, which normally would be shipped to Wisconsin from California or Arizona.

Schuler feels this is the future. "We think this is one of the ways that could really help lower emissions," said Schuler.

But Dodge County farmer Nick Schultz says not so fast. While he loves the idea, he believes you have to take into consideration other environmental costs associated with it. "You're paying for sunlight, your paying for the water, you're paying for the air conditioner," Schultz says.

With the urban sprawl growing, the room to grow his 1,700 acre farm to produce more crops like corn is shrinking. In fact, he says his property taxes have gone up about 25 percent in the last decade.

Schultz sees this could be an option for his future grandchildren. "What's going to happen to our food supply? It's probably going to get more strained by the day. There's a lot of people to feed," he said.

Hydroponics installed in the containers can help speed up the lettuce growth, from about 25 to 14 days.


The 10,000 square-foot structure being built in Kenosha could produce about 2.4 million packages a year to our area.

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Something agriculture students at Kewaskum High School are already learning about.

"I think in the future, I think it's a very big possibility because there is no ground to have. So we need to grow it somewhere," said Schultz.

One-third of the world's food supply is wasted, according to research from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Association. Kimbal Musk - Elon Musk's brother - is a co-founder of Square Roots.

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