In the Spotlight: Iron Ox Strategic Sales Manager, Andrew Blume
Our Strategic Sales Manager at Iron Ox, Andrew Blume, is a plant-based inspiration across the team here. A vegetarian since the age of 5, his love for healthy plant-based foods adds to his passion for the future of agriculture. He is an Al Gore-trained climate speaker and continues to pave the way for sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems, and delicious, nutritious diets. He has had the opportunity to speak on behalf of Iron Ox and the future of sustainable farming at two big engagements already this year – and it’s only March!
Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE
Andrew recently spoke at Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE on February 19, 2022.
Expo 2020 is a global expo that runs from October 2021 through March 2022. The event aims to showcase brilliance and innovation, and is attended by organizations from 192 participating nations. Sustainability brought the food industry together to discuss solutions to food security, nutrition, and farming challenges. Andrew joined a panel called “Growing Something Greater”, hosted by Dr. Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine. Andrew first met Dr. Ritz when he visited his classroom at PS55 in the Bronx during New York Agtech Week in 2016.
We followed up with Andrew after his talk, which offered a large glimpse into his history and where his passion for plants originated.
Andrew Blume: Growing Up Green
“A long long time ago I was a young kid who looked like this. I was the luckiest kid in the whole world: my mom was a farmer’s market director, so my childhood involved spending weekends roaming the market to pass the time. I came to know every farmer at each stall, tasting their delicious produce and learning about how it was grown with TLC, tender loving care.
“So, naturally, in 1st grade when my teacher, Mrs. Kato, assigned a science fair project, I realized I had the opportunity to try and grow some of the fantastic things I was tasting at the market.
“It’s amazing how a great teacher like Mrs. Kato or Dr. Ritz can help a kid connect the dots in their life.
“Those dots kept connecting for me as my passion for plants continued. By the time I was in 4th grade, I had grown my fair share of plants and I was learning that a lot of variables like light, water, and temperature, affect how well plants grow. I was all the more impressed by the farmers at my mom’s market.
“So I kept asking questions and did a few more science projects, like this one (pictured above) where I tried to figure out which type of water would grow the biggest plants the fastest.”
Indoor Ag-Con in Las Vegas, NV
Andrew was also a moderator at a panel discussion at Indoor Ag-Con in Las Vegas, NV on February 28, 2022, a conference where nearly 800 attendees including industry experts and thought leaders in the indoor agriculture space gathered to discuss innovative ideas in growing, business, and technology. Panel speakers included: Steve Platt, CEO of BrightFarms; Steven Bradley, VP of Cox Cleantech, Cox Enterprises; Jonathan Webb, CEO of AppHarvest; and Matthew Ryan, CEO of Soli Organic.
During the panel, Andrew guided the discussion to cover the topic of indoor farming on location at grocery stores, hotels, & restaurants.
“My favorite part of the panel at Indoor Ag-Con was highlighting the differences between the panelists’ companies. Despite serving similar customers, their crops, business models, and farm designs varied widely – showing the diversity of approaches to creating an artisanal farm-to-table experience.”
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