ENDICOTT, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – A year-round vertical farm in Endicott got a big boost in confidence from the Grow New York global competition held in Binghamton last week.

Big Yield Growers was the recipient of the Wegmans Audience Choice Award at the summit which brought together agriculture entrepreneurs and start-ups for the chance to win a portion of $3 million in prizes.

And while BYG was not one of the seven award major winners, it did win the support of the participants in a landslide, based on its pitch and informational kiosk.

BYG CEO Jim Dutcher says that while the $10,000 prize is appreciated, the validation is even more important.

“The connections we made, the networking, far superior to any other venue that we can get any other exposure to. We’re hoping to capitalize on those connections made,” said Dutcher.

Big Yield Growers produces a variety of herbs, sprouts and leafy greens grown in soil, indoors using grow lamps. It currently sells its products in Broome County Weis Markets, Maines Food and Party Warehouse on Upper Front Street and at the Regional Farmers Market.

Dutcher says the plan is to expand ten-fold from its current 10,000 square foot facility to one with 100,000 square feet.