CEA Advisory Board to drive alignment between horticulture lighting technology, performance, and price

Libra Design announced the formation of its Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Advisory Board and the appointment of inaugural
members Bob Hoffman, Chief Science Officer Emeritus of Soli Organic, and Dr. Allison Justice, Founder and CEO of The Hemp Mine. The CEA Advisory Board will further align Libra investments in the areas with the greatest impact on indoor and greenhouse farming with specific insight from Mr. Hoffman and Dr. Justice to influence the next generation of horticulture lighting.

Bob Hoffman and Dr. Allison Justice 

“Indoor and greenhouse horticulture lighting requirements are nuanced, rapidly changing, and most importantly, must address the needs of today’s farmer,” said Travis Williams, Co-Founder & CEO of Libra Design. “We are honored to have Bob Hoffman and Dr. Allison Justice join our CEA Advisory Board and share their invaluable knowledge with Libra and our clients to move the CEA industry forward.”

Bob Hoffman is the Chief Science Officer Emeritus of Soli Organic, a grower of organic culinary herbs throughout the United States. He is a pioneer in hydroponic, greenhouse, and vertical farming with more than five decades of experience, beginning with outdoor landscaping before becoming the first head grower and facility manager for Village Farms in the 1980s. Most recently, Hoffman transformed Shenandoah Growers (now Soli Organic) from a conventionally field-grown operation in 2003 into the controlled-environment operation of today, primarily consisting of greenhouse and indoor cultivation. Throughout his career in CEA, Hoffman implemented new techniques, technology, and practices to increase crop yields with a focus on efficiencies and economics.

“Being an inaugural member of the Libra Design CEA Advisory Board is a wonderful platform to help advance the future generation of vertical farm and greenhouse growers by sharing the insights learned throughout my career,” said Hoffman.

Allison Justice, Ph.D., is the Founder and CEO of The Hemp Mine, a cultivation, extraction, and production business of premium CBD products. A third-generation farmer, Allison was born into horticulture on a South Carolina farm before graduating from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. She then pursued a Master of Science in Agriculture from Penn State University before ultimately earning a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Clemson. Prior to The Hemp Mine, Dr. Justice was the VP of Cultivation at OutCo, where she implemented breakthrough cultivation techniques and strategies, including vertical farming and LED lighting systems.

“It’s no secret LED technology is a vital ingredient to the success of CEA when done right and a leading cause of failure when not,” said Dr. Justice. “My goal as a Member of the Libra Design CEA Advisory Board is to ensure the voice of the grower and research-based insights are at the forefront of Libra decision-making as they pursue their goal of advancing CEA.”

As part of the Libra Design CEA Advisory Board, Hoffman and Dr. Justice will influence the next generation of horticulture lighting from technical specifications and product features that impact crop production to how the products are sold, marketed, and ultimately implemented to improve grower cultivation and financial success. They also have access to the latest LED technology for R&D trials and analysis to ensure Libra product development is in line with market needs.

For more information:
Libra Design 

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