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Kentucky Ag Tech Innovator AppHarvest Goes Public on Nasdaq


An innovative ag tech company in Kentucky building some of America’s largest indoor farms went public on Nasdaq Feb. 1.

Morehead-based AppHarvest rang the opening bell on Nasdaq virtually on Monday, and is trading under the new ticker symbol APPH.

The new publicly traded company was created when AppHarvest was  acquired by Novus Capital, a 'special purpose acquisition company' or SPAC.  

The goal of SPACs is to acquire private companies, allowing them to go public faster and with fewer regulatory hurdles than the standard Initial Public Offering, or IPO, process.

The AppHarvest flagship facility is a 60-acre indoor farm in Morehead that harvested its first crop of tomatoes last month. 

Credit Facebook/AppHarvest
The AppHarvest flagship greenhouse in Morehead, Kentucky covers 60 acres.

Shipments of beefsteak tomatoes went to major retailers including Kroger, Meijer, Publix and Walmart. 

The company also delivered 2,500 pounnds of tomatoes to God's Pantry Food Bank, which has a distribution center in Morehead and supplies food to 50 counties in central and eastern Kentucky.

The AppHarvest Morehead indoor farm has the capacity to grow 45 million pounds of tomatoes annually.

AppHarvest is also building two other indoor farms in Kentucky, a 60-acre greenhouse near Richmond, and a 15-acre facility in Berea to grow leafy greens.

The company’s goal is to have 12 farms in Kentucky and across Appalachia by 2025.  

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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