WAMPSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Down the street from the seat of Madison County government is a massive indoor farming facility being built.
A Canadian company, Mastronardi Produce, is midway through its largest ever project in North America.
The Chair of the Madison County Board of Supervisors can almost see the project out of an office window.
John Becker says he was skeptical the first time he heard the plan about four years ago.
“When I got done with the meeting, I was just shaking my head saying never gonna happen, never gonna happen,” he tells NewsChannel 9.
Running under the name Green Empire Farms by Sunset, it is 100 acres of greenhouse farming. They are done with part of the project, enough that Becker says they’ve started growing strawberries there already.
“The County Administrator took a little tour over there last week. The employees that are in there love the place, they’re walking around with sunglasses on. It’s warm, it’s like being in a nice summer environment everyday. It’s pretty cool.”
Eventually, they’ll be growing tomatoes from the vine and other fruits and vegetables in the massive greenhouse complex and ship them off to stores around the Northeast, Becker says, including right around here.
“People like to know where their food is grown and where it’s coming from. We’re seeing more of that. We put on a push here in Madison County to buy local a few years ago, it was a big hit,” he tells NewsChannel 9.
They’re also already starting to grow jobs here, with more to come.
There are currently several open jobs posted on the company’s career page for the Madison County facility, listed as Oneida, New York.
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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9