Kentucky Fresh Harvest Hires UK Professor for key position
Published 6:04 am Thursday, March 23, 2017
High-tech agricultural startup builds strong leadership team to compete in growing industry
Stanford, KY – Kentucky Fresh Harvest, a 30 acre high-tech greenhouse project under construction in Lincoln County, announced today that Shubin Saha, D.P.M., Ph.D. has joined the team as their Production and Integrated Pest Management Director, further establishing the company as a leader in a growing sector of Kentucky’s agricultural economy.
Shubin Saha brings with him a wealth of experience within the academic world, having spent over a decade of his impressive career conducting plant science research while serving in various capacities at major institutions including the University of Florida where he obtained both a Doctorate of Plant Medicine as well as his Ph.D. in Horticultural Sciences, Purdue University where he served as their Extension Vegetable Specialist, and most recently, the University of Kentucky.
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At UK, Dr. Saha served as Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Horticulture where he applied over a decade of research in the field of protected agriculture to provide support to commercial vegetable producers and develop the growing vegetable industry in the Commonwealth. Joining the team at Kentucky Fresh Harvest (KFH), Saha will contribute his years of experience in plant science and protected agriculture to the private sector for the first time and help to bring the future of farming to Kentucky.
“I’m joining the Kentucky Fresh Harvest team during a major shift in agriculture when we can realize the potential of technology to solve the problems facing our food system,” said Saha. “As a company, we’ll work together to reinvigorate Kentucky’s vegetable production industry by building a system focused on producing high volumes of produce without sacrificing quality. This is going to be a big deal for the state.”
As Production and Integrated Pest Management Director at KFH, Saha will be based at the company’s Lincoln County facility and will work with the Project’s Director of Operations and CEO Haim Oz, to oversee the operation of the high-tech greenhouse project. He will join a team of highly-skilled specialists to manage the advanced hydroponic system that will be in operation 365 days a year.
“It’s no secret that retailers have been forced to rely heavily on foreign vegetable imports to stock their shelves and meet the year-round demand for fresh produce,” said Curt Meltzer, Chief Operating Officer at KFH. “With Saha joining our management team we’re better equipped to face the challenges that come along with the business of agriculture, tap into the growing niche vegetable market and shift the current food paradigm to one that is focused on fresh, sustainable produce grown right here in Kentucky. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to have Dr. Saha on our team.”
Dr. Saha will continue to work in his current capacity at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment through May 1.
“I will miss working in extension with growers and many of my colleagues, but I now have the opportunity to grow and help strengthen the Kentucky vegetable industry from within,” Saha said.
About Kentucky Fresh Harvest
Currently under construction on the North side of Stanford, Kentucky Fresh Harvest (www.kyfreshharvest.com) is the state’s first high-technology vegetable production greenhouse. Once construction is complete, the 30 acre facility will employ approximately 75 full-time agricultural workers from Lincoln County and the surrounding areas to grow, pick, pack, and ship vegetables at the facility year-round. KFH is owned by local investors and Kentucky Hi Tech Greenhouses, LLC (www.kyhitechgreenhouses.com) whose parent company, Oz Agribusiness Projects and Investments, is a global leader in greenhouse construction and management.