The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is advancing ag innovation by supporting start-ups from across the country through the 2021 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the seventh year of the Challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses. Today, the 10 semi-finalist teams were announced in the competition.
“The hard-working entrepreneurs recognized today are committed to providing solutions for some of the biggest challenges facing agriculture,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This includes supporting farms, ranches and rural economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The 10 semi-finalist teams were awarded $7,500 each. They are:
- AgriHoodBaltimore, Baltimore, Maryland. Team lead: Richard Francis
- Agro Empresas Black Belt, Coamo, Puerto Rico. Team lead: Luis Raimundo Bures Martinez
- Arbre Technologies Inc., Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Team lead: Matthieu Vollmer
- BoldCypress LLC, Oran, Missouri. Team lead: Nathan Holmes
- Butter Meat Co., Perry, New York. Team lead: Jill Gould
- Harvust, Walla Walla, Washington. Team lead: Riley Clubb
- Insulights.com , Akron, Iowa. Team lead: Bill Brown
- Parasanti, Thrall, Texas. Team lead: Max Adams
- Row Shaver Systems LLC, Great Bend, Kansas. Team lead: Dave Button
- TerraClear Inc., Grangeville, Idaho. Team lead: Trevor Thompson
The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention on Friday, Jan. 8, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $7,500 for a total of $15,000. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to win Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year, for a total of $50,000 and the People’s Choice Award, for a total of $20,000.
The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business faculty, and network with representatives from the Agriculture Department’s Rural Business Investment Companies.