Gov. Youngkin announces expansion of Charlottesville startup Agrospheres
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Glenn Youngkin stopped by Seminole Place to announce the expansion of Agrospheres, a Charlottesville startup.
The company is looking to start a new generation of crop products that moves away from chemical pesticides.
“So same way you brew some beer, we have bacteria make these compounds that are toxic to certain bad pests, but they don’t harm bees, or butterflies or the beneficial pests,” Agrospheres Co-founder and CEO Payam Pourtaheri said.
The idea for the startup began to form when the co-founders, two UVA graduates, saw how harmful can be to both people and wildlife.
“If we could practically reduce the chemical pesticide usage without sacrificing yields or a farmer’s upside, that would be a really great way to work on a company and a project,” Pourtaheri said.
Agrospheres tested its product by teaming up with wineries, and after a successful round of tests, it is now looking to expand out from Virginia.
“Instead of one product being used worldwide, you could have a product for maybe the Eastern U.S., or maybe Europe or Asia. So I think the future is coming where we can really increase production, but increase our sustainability,” VA Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr said.
“Agriculture technology is on the move. These guys are leading it, and Virginia is at the forefront,” Gov. Youngkin said.
The expansion will bring more than 50 new jobs to Albemarle County.
Gov. Youngkin approved a $200,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help the county with project.
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