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Podcast: Zach Zepf, Owner of Zeponic Farms
by Ramon Ray
October 13, 2023

In this podcast, Ramon Ray chats with Zach Zepf, owner of Zeponic Farms, an urban agriculture company that does all of its farming out of a shipping container using hydroponic technology.

The business uses 90% less water than a typical farm without pesticides. They provide fresh produce to markets in Virginia, and all of their farming is done by people with special needs or autism. Zepf’s younger brother, who has autism, was the inspiration for Zeponic Farms because when he couldn’t find employment, Zach decided to create a career for him and other special needs people in the community that would make them feel like they were truly a part of something big.

Zeponic Farms has an ideal partnership with George Mason University where autistic and special needs students can farm produce for the campus. The dining halls use this product for the university’s meals. Zepf hopes to get containers on college campuses with special needs and autism programs around the country.

Zeponic Farms won the 2016 SCORE Outstanding Green Business Award. His SCORE mentor, Len Johnson, taught him how to run a business successfully and provided him with support as his business was gaining momentum. Zepf urges other entrepreneurs to follow their passions and not be afraid to ask for help from others.

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About the author
Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray is unapologetically positive and passionate about making the world a better place. He's a serial entrepreneur who has sold 3 companies and authored 5 books.
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Zeponic Farms

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. 

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Len Johnson

During my 40 years in business, I bought a graphic design studio; grew the company to become an...

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1165 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170

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