Today we’d like to introduce you to Ray Urrutia.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I started working when I was 11 years old. What I learned was work ethic and passion for what you do. This has lead me on the path of entrepreneurialism or in some case, intrepreneurialism within new corporate division. This path has taught me to be flexible, be first, create vision, understand that there are naysayers and that if you believe in something – stay the course. Now about my business, Terra Firma Foods – what I saw here was an impact to humanity, “Feeding the World”. Creating a Company is seeing all of the pieces as a puzzle and what you will need to fulfill your vision, with God’s help. I see starving people in the world, I see people getting deathly sick from E. coli and salmonella, all of which are preventable. I see our world falling apart due to global warming. I wondered, what can I do to help?. I created a business called Terra Firma Foods that is an AgTech business which grows 100% organic produce in an enclosed environment, meaning ZERO pesticide, and can be grown in any climate, eliminating the need to import/export foods due food being out of season. This helps our carbon footprint, creates jobs and provides healthy food all year-round. We also utilize robotic means ensuring end-to-end automation, no human touch through packaging. We also use recyclable Pyrolysis, self-sustainability through providing NexGen Farms own energy source; assisting communities by managing their waste; medical, landfill, recyclable collection plastic.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
What challenges have I had to overcome? People, Capital and Failure. I’ve learned that not everyone is nice and not everyone functions for the sake of others – but mostly for the sake of themselves. That is not how I am. Yes, I have a loving family and mouths to feed at home, but I feel that life is more about giving as opposed to taking, What can I give to the world that will in turn, give back to me? I have had several businesses, but Terra Firma Foods is what I am most passionate about. I believe that we have an amazing story and that the this will help in so many areas that I am confident that we can help change the world. Obviously, we are one company, but everything starts with one, right? Our goal here is to have investors who are willing to invest in us to help us grow our business to move forward with helping. The global vertical farming market size is predicted to be worth around US$ 31.15 billion by 2030 from US$ 4.15 billion in 2020, with a registered CAGR of 25.2% from 2021 to 2030. I believe anyone investing with us to get us started will not be sorry. Terraponics is also not as well-known as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. Terra means soil. That is how we grow – in living soil. We also grow in an enclosed environment – vertically, not requiring thousands of acres.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
We specialize in having the “big picture” vision – not just making money, but growing a business, helping others and helping the planet. Our goal is to have branchisers, to create farms and grocery chains who wish to grow/sell their own branded produce, restaurants and chain eateries who wish to grow their own produce, schools who wish to teach healthy eating, farmers who wish to enhance their work with terraponics vs. hydroponics and why, as well as international markets. We will create our vertical farms to be within 30-60 minutes of each customer to ensure we deliver immediately. The shelf life of natural produce, delivered quickly and not having been frozen, shipped for days, refrozen, etc. is exponential. Shelf-life can be 4-6 weeks as opposed to a week having bought produce in the stores. And if anything Covid has taught us – be the healthiest that we can be – and it all starts with us – eating the healthiest food we can. Terra Firma provides that. Our mission is to also donate 10% of the foods we produce from our farms. Branchisers will be a huge part of our business. Say, for example, if names such as Chipotle or Krogers were to become branchisers with us, they would have their own vertical farms with us, where we would teach them to work according to our mission and allow them to grow their own produce and reap all of the benefits of such. It is a win-win for everyone.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Ideas are abundant, execution is not. Passion cannot be trained or can it be a skill set. Either you have it or you don’t. The question is what are you passionate about? Most of us have a passion – the question is, can we make money at it? Financial gain is a by-product of your passion. The reason most will fail (and I have failed) is the patience it takes or “sticktoitofness” – sticking to the path. Many will not survive this. If you truly are passionate about something, you will go to the ends of the earth to see it through. That is how I feel about Terra Firma Foods. I truly am passionate about helping people, helping our planet, feeding the hungry – as well as evolving in the world – using robotics and spreading the word about healthier eating. We believe that grocery chains, chain eateries, schools, etc., will see the value that we bring to the table and join us. ESG is taking on an even greater significance in light of recent events: companies have the responsibility and resources to accomplish positive climate action, building a more sustainable, resilient future and “putting money where their mouth is”. Therefore, businesses that join us, adhering to their ESG goals, will obviously receive great recognition from their customers. Our donating 10% from our farms will also receive recognition – which again, will be beneficial for branchisers and customers alike.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
I feel success is when a Company has its own identity/personality, which usually takes about five years. I say this so as not to discourage entrepreneurs who do not see their efforts recognized immediately. We are all a work in progress. I also believe that success is being able to look back and “see” the difference that you made. If an artist made paintings that sat in their basement – what does that do? If he sold his paintings to people who admire the work, enjoyed it – the paintings gave them memories – made them feel more alive – brightened their day, etc. then THAT would be a success to me. With TFF, I believe that we have a lot to offer – not just saving the planet, feeding the hungry, creating jobs, growing the healthiest produce possible – we have “also” built an app where people can follow the progress, learn more about TFF, build their own profile to follow their specific work, etc. There is training, learning about our JIT (just in time) freshness, NexGen farming methods, the differences between terraponics and hydroponics, explaining terraponics, the science behind it all – “Dirty Dozen vs .Clean 15, the dangers of glyphosate, why it all matters, etc. The app is for customers and farmers alike. I believe we have a lot to offer in so many areas that we are bound to make an impact to everyone in one way or another. THAT is what I call success.
What’s next for you?
Seeing this endeavor, Terra Firma Foods (TFF) go from an idea to its own identity. That is what my current goal is. I really feel that we have something good here and the market seems to agree. While terraponics is still not as well-known as hydroponics and others, vertical faring is. A simple google of “vertical farms” will confirm that. And not only in the USA, everywhere from Asia to Dubai and all advocating vertical farms. I believe that Terra Firma Foods is a global brand and intend to see this through. Next, I plan to publish more books on real estate and one about my life and my family’s history.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
Terra Firma Foods Web — www.terrafirmafoods.world Twitter — https://bit.ly/3FYa1Hd YouTube – https://bit.ly/32nBgMd FB — https://bit.ly/3DNehY0 Blog: https://bit.ly/3EUqpab LinkedIn — https://bit.ly/3oKUioM IG— https://bit.ly/3nn1LIv Phone: 833-433-3500v