James R. Bloom is currently working as the Ag Services Director of Healthy Roots, LLC. This is an adaptive reuse of a 300,000 square foot warehouse. Jim is heading a 5-7 year build out to convert the space into an organic vertical farm that will be able to produce nearly 1.2 million square feet of produce. This project will add nearly 300 full time jobs to the community and has plans to be a net-zero energy farm within 7 years. Jim assisted in getting the farm a 1.8-million-dollar Industrial Recovery Tax Credit and is heading up the bio-digester program to convert vegetative bio-waste into clean energy. Jim has assisted the farm in getting its GAP Harmonized, USDA Organic and GFS1 certifications.
Jim developed and operated an urban renewal project in Indianapolis that targeted repurposing an underutilized building as well as economic revitalization to a blighted urban neighborhood. This development converted the building into an environmentally controlled hydroponic farm and served as its Farm Manager. The development received the City of Indianapolis’ Urban Agriculture award as well as the Healthy Food finance award geared towards focusing on resolving the food desert problem in the City. Jim was featured in numerous articles as well as an interview with CNN on Urban Farming.
Jim co-founded Sustainable Local Foods whose primary focus was utilizing the production of foods in urban areas to create jobs for individuals with historic background areas. SLF has provided local foods to most major retailers in the Midwest.
Jim founded a service company in Ohio that provided services to individuals with disabilities and mental illness. It grew to one of the largest disability companies in the state and provided residential, vocational, rehabilitative and transportation services in 15 counties with over 500 employees.
After selling the company to a national disability provider, he assumed the position of Vocational Rehabilitation Program Director for the state and assisted the agency in obtaining it’s CARF accreditation. It was during this time Jim became aware of a study commissioned by the Urban League regarding the need for urban agriculture production being a key to economic revitalization and the impact agriculture could have on the welfare of a community. The rest is history. Jim is most proud of being known as a Master Grower and being a member of the Farming community.