9/7/2022 - Rotary Recap - Sam Norton - Heron Farms

September 7th

Tom Cullen gave his about me speech


Tom was born and raised in Long Island, NY, near Manhasset beach. Tom married his wife Betty while in college in Vermont, and they knew they were having a baby before they graduated! Tom's daughter decided to attend USC, and that's how they became interested in moving to South Carolina. Tom's son lives in California and is in the tech business.

Tom spent most of his career as an executing broker on the floor of the NYSE. Tom and his wife are Parishioners of St. Claire here on Daniel Island. Tom spends his days as a day trader. Volunteering helps him find balance. Tom was the oldest of seven siblings, and his dad was one of 9 siblings! Tom has 92 first cousins. Tom's advice is to let your wife pick the town and house!

Sam Norton was our guest speaker and founder of Heron Farms, a vertical indoor saltwater farm! Sam grew up on Isle of Palms and, in 2018, Founded Heron Farms. Heron Farms is the world's first indoor vertical saltwater farm.

At Heron Farms, they take pride in building a different kind of food company that gives back to the planet instead of simply taking from it. Heron Farms produces food without any natural sunlight or freshwater!

As Sam told us, it originally started with an experiment on Drum Island testing native plants. The first three experiments failed due to warm waters in July. During the fourth experiment, they switched to a lab facility, which was successful. They made it to the harvesting period, sold to area chefs, and continued to do it. They are currently looking at land in Brownsville, Texas (partnering with a local shrimp farm) and working on lease negotiations to continue their research and production. The business was initially financed through convertible notes, grants from the department of agriculture, and local Angel investors.