After graduating from college, Zach Zepf wanted to apply his agricultural background to a new business venture. Zepf grew up with a brother who has autism, so he wanted to combine his love of agriculture with a commitment to helping the special-needs population.
Zepf noticed the demand for locally grown produce as the farm-to-table movement gained popularity. He decided that his venture, Zeponic Farms, could support the special-needs population by employing individuals with autism and other challenges to farm produce for the local market.
Zeponic Farms operates out of a customized shipping container, which allows the team to use hydroponic technology to offer fresh produce year-round. Its hydroponic growing method uses 95 percent less water than a conventional farm.
The Grow Your Business workshop allowed Zepf to start networking and get professional advice in funding and marketing. "As a result, we were able to secure a loan for our first hydroponic farm," he says.
Zeponic Farms was named Outstanding Green Business at the 2016 SCORE Awards.