Economy:

State sees agriculture as a way to grow local jobs

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has added a ninth industry — agriculture — in its bid to increase jobs in the state.

State officials will host a day-long event Wednesday to teach people about trends in indoor agriculture. The Nevada Indoor Agriculture Conference will be held at the Historic 5th Street School and bring together investors, industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

The governor’s office is working with UNLV, the Desert Research Institute and Seedstock, a company that advises others on sustainability issues.

Eighteen speakers and a crowd of more than 200 people, including guests from Japan and Israel, are expected.

“Interest is high because of the advances in technology in this industry,” said Bonnie Lind, renewable energy specialist with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Scheduled speakers include Paul Selina, vice president of applied research at Village Farms; David Bell, chief marketing officer at Houweling’s Tomatoes, a greenhouse tomato grower in Camarillo, Calif.; Matt Gescheke, managing partner of Brotherhood Products, an expert in hydroponic growing; Zack Porter, operating partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors, who works with Silicon Valley venture firms; and Marilyn Yamamoto, owner of Cowboy Trail Farm, which grows vegetables and herbs in northwest Las Vegas.

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