Fulfilling a Need
It will be years, if not decades, until the Controlled Environmental Agriculture sector is mature enough to bring down the cost of the technology through economies of scale. Until then, applying this technology at scale to small and remote markets just doesn’t make financial sense for private capital. Outpost Agriculture, founded in 2020 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, aims to bridge this gap by utilizing philanthropic capital, which measures returns by social impact rather than ROI. We aim to bring large, commercial scale CEA to remote, underserved and food insecure communities. We are beginning our work in Alaska.
At bottom, feeding people is the mission Outpost Agriculture. By growing greens and other produce in places where it’s hard and costly to do so, we aim to reduce food insecurity by reducing dependence on imports. The shortages and supply disruptions experienced by most Alaskan’s recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic has brought more focus and urgency to this problem. In that regard, we look at our network of CEA farm stations as a new, and needed, form of critical infrastructure. Like the cell towers that keep us connected, or the fuel docks and gas stations that keep things moving, our farm stations operate quietly in the background, growing high quality and nutritious food affordable to all, 24/7/365.
Outpost Founder Colin McIntosh
Colin McIntosh cut his teeth in the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) sector by joining a leader in the field, South Carolina-based Vertical Roots. In helping VR run their Columbia operation, he recognized the potential that scaled CEA has in feeding remote and underserved communities. So, in 2020, in the midst of the global pandemic, he founded Outpost Agriculture as a nonprofit to bring scaled CEA to the small, remote and underserved places in Alaska that need it most. Prior to his entry into agriculture, Colin worked as a strategist and information operations planner for the Department of Defense.