After talking about the decline in the number of farmers in the country, I thought about this article that I read a little while ago about vertical farming. If we only consider the traditional form of farming, then it seems that the number of farmers will remain constant or decline and will not be able to support the nutritional needs of the growing population of the United States. The current system we have relies on many factors that are dictated by the environment and location. However, vertical farming offers a new, much different type of farming system than the system we currently have today.
Instead of using vast amounts of land to grow crops, one can do so in a facility and grow crops in a stacked fashion rather than rows in the soil. In these facilities, all environmental factors are controlled, including temperature, humidity, and gas composition. This would allow year round farming and the ability to use new locations that normally would not be possible such as cities or areas with unsuitable climates. There are issues that arise such as energy needs to sustain this type of environment, and regulation.
I believe this type of farming would help alleviate some of the pressure that is on farmers today in keeping up with the growing population that needs to be fed. We would also be able to use large abandoned warehouses or superstores that are already built in some locations to lower the cost, while offering opportunities for employment to a huge number of people required to operate a business of that size.