The MISSION of Urban Ag News is to be the leading science communicator for the commercial hydroponics, greenhouse vegetable, vertical farming and urban agriculture industries.
Urban Ag News educates readers and provides an understanding of the industry’s latest technologies and luminaries.
Chris Higgins, The Founder
Mr. Higgins is the President, General Manager and co-owner of Hort Americas, LLC (HortAmericas.com) a wholesale supply company servicing all aspects of the commercial horticultural industries. Over the past years Hort Americas has had a special focus on horticultural lighting, hydroponics substrate and nutrient management making them one of the leading resources for commercial greenhouse and vertically farmed vegetable, ornamentals and soft fruit growers as well as other niche agriculture and horticulture crops in North America.
Chris is also dedicated to creating change through a variety of non-profit, industry and community minded projects. He was a founding partner of the Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment Agriculture and the International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture in Panama. He sits on multiple advisory boards including roles with OptimIA, University of Arizona CEAC, The Oak Cliff Veggie Project and Out Hunger. With over 20 years of industry experience, Chris is dedicated to the commercial horticulture industry and is inspired by the current opportunities for continued innovation in the field of controlled environment agriculture.
One can regularly learn about Chris’ views and philosophies surrounding controlled environment agriculture by reading his writings in UrbanAgNews.com or listening to one of the many webinars, podcasts or panel discussions he does throughout the year.
He could not do this alone. He is proud of the network of professionals and friends he has established in the controlled environment agriculture industry. With the advice and guidance of this experienced team of horticultural and creative professionals UrbanAgNews.com is focused on providing innovative and educational content to a wide audience from professional greenhouse vegetable growers to those interested in starting non-traditional businesses in urban agriculture, city and vertical farms.
Learn more about Chris Higgins by visiting him on LinkedIN.
Janet Colston PhD, The Functional Food Expert
Janet lives on the West coast of Scotland with her husband and three teenage sons. Originally from the Isle of Skye, she is proud of her Hebridean heritage of crofting and fishing. She moved to Glasgow to study for a degree in Biology followed by a PhD in pharmacology. She started a postdoc at Glasgow University in 1996 and quickly found a niche research environment in cell culture and 3D fluorescence transmembrane receptor signaling, publishing and speaking regularly to peer groups. After having her family she founded a charity to regenerate her local area then project managed a high profile community garden helping to sustain food growing using urban methods like hydroponics. She founded The Functional Plant Company in 2018, micro-propagating clean propagules of plants that show potential of increased phytonutrients growing with controlled environmental agricultural methods. This aligned with her knowledge accrued over a 20 year career as a cancer research scientist, working in the fields of gastroenterology and clinical hypertension in heart failure.
She works as an international specialist appraising grant funding for Scottish businesses that aim to internationalise exports to new markets across the globe bringing economic returns to Scotland. Not that she has spare time but she likes to island hop, enjoys beachcombing and has even attempted surfing.
Farmer Tyler, The Grower Expert
Tyler has a range of urban agricultural experience from homesteading to commercial hydroponics. While completing his B.S. in Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida, he traveled overseas to study Organic Agriculture in Spain and Protected Agriculture (greenhouse production) in China. After graduation, he worked as a grower for 3 Boys Farm Inc., the first certified organic recirculating hydroponic farm in the United States. In 2013, Tyler moved to Denver, Colorado where he worked as the hydroponic farm manager at The GrowHaus. He managed a profitable urban farm while creating a successful hydroponic internship program with a 90% job placement rate for graduates. The hydroponic farm at The GrowHaus is currently managed by alumni of the farm internship program and continues to provide lettuce for Wholefoods, Safeway, and several local markets. While at The GrowHaus, Tyler started creating educational videos and blog posts about farm tech which he continues to post on his website FarmerTyler.com. He has had multiple appearances on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home which airs on national PBS. Currently, Tyler manages the Dallas Grown hydroponic greenhouse in Dallas, Texas and works as Special Projects Manager for Hort Americas. Farmer Tyler continues to produce video content which can be seen at Urban Ag News YouTube and Farmer Tyler YouTube!
David Kuack, The Writer
David is a technical communication specialist with over 25 years of real-world experience. For over 20 years he was an editor with commercial horticulture publications focusing on greenhouse production. He has a MS in Horticulture from Ohio State University.
David is currently a freelance technical writer working with a variety of commercial horticulture companies. He has been on the Board of Directors of OFA (now AmericanHort) and a committee member of the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association. David was the inaugural winner of the Horticultural Initiative Award presented by the Southeast Greenhouse Conference.
Alicia Morcillo, The Graphic Artist
Alicia joined the Urban Ag News team in 2013. She is Urban Ag News’ and Hort Americas‘ graphic and web designer and has also been able to assist on projects with SunFireNurseries.com, BigBadFlower.com, as well as non-profit organizations in Texas and Florida. She is married to Diego and they have four wonderful children. Their favorite family past time is going to the beach on the weekends.
Cameron Muilenburg, Asa Wright Video Productions
Self-taught videographer and graphic designer, who has done video work for ESPN, Hoffman Bikes and Mutiny Bikes.
He was Director of Video Communications at First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, and is currently Video Producer at Precept Ministries International. Cameron has done design work for multiple contracting companies in the Gulf Coast area as well as Hort Americas and Hidden Clothing, a clothing company he owns and designs for. He also has ridden BMX for over 15 years and it is one of his greatest interests outside of videography, photography and design. He also dabbles in music, playing drums, guitar and piano.