Innovator Interview: Donald Taylor (AmplifiedAg, Vertical Roots) On Indoor AgTech

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Innovator Interview: Donald Taylor (AmplifiedAg, Vertical Roots) On Indoor AgTech with Alex Cherones

We recently got the chance to discuss Indoor AgTech with Donald Taylor – CEO of AmplifiedAg and its vertical farming company, Vertical Roots.

As someone with a 30+ year background in software development and the former CTO of Benefitfocus he continually improved operations with data-led insights. After retiring from Benefitfocus, for about 5 minutes, he found a new passion during his trips to India where he witnessed the food and supply chain crisis firsthand. Here are a few of the highlights from his interview with Alex Cherones.

The Spark Behind AmplifiedAg

Don’s software development methodology began to focus on containerization in the early 2000s as SaaS began to gain popularity. As he observed the agricultural crisis in India the idea of implementing containerization to agriculture, through the use of shipping containers, just made sense.

Once Donald decided that AmplifiedAg’s solutions needed to be scalable he partnered with Andrew Hare to bring Vertical Roots into existence in 2017. Since then, AmplifiedAg is now in over 1,700 grocery stores including Whole Foods, Publix, & Harris Teeter across 12 states.

Overcoming Food Supply Chain Challenges

While Don was at Benefitfocus he formed a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) Management company which ran and gained customers throughout the food value chain until he exited. He was able to take that foundational knowledge and apply it to containerized farms.

Donald and those at AmplifiedAg built an in-house software solution that ties together his 3PL knowledge with a farming layer to overcome supply chain challenges by collecting actionable insights.

AmplifiedAg Addressing Access To Safe Food

Don speaks to the growth in the indoor agriculture space and how it’s fueled by farmer-centric technology. By integrating software & hardware data collection AmplifiedAg’s horticulturists can draw a correlation between farmer business transactions and the environmental impact of any one container to guide growers into decisions that improve the quality of their yields.

Thanks again to Donald Taylor for his insights. We’re always happy to sit down with our clients and friends to inform the market so that collectively, we can all Engineer Growth™. Got something to say? Get in touch with your Headstorm project lead, or contact us here.