2022 ag innovation challenge winner

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is seeking entrepreneurs to apply online for the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Now in its ninth year, this national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies developing innovative solutions to challenges faced by America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

Farm Bureau is offering $165,000 in startup funds throughout the course of the competition, which will culminate in the top 10 semi-finalists competing in a live pitch competition in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives at the AFBF Convention in January 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Innovation is at the heart of everything farmers and ranchers do,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The Ag Innovation Challenge is an outstanding avenue for identifying and supporting startup businesses striving to solve the problems facing rural America. I look forward to seeing the innovative, resourceful and creative solutions that Challenge applicants submit.”

Applications remain open through May 13, and the 10 semi-finalist teams will be announced Sept. 13. Each of the semi-finalist teams will be awarded $10,000 and a chance to compete to advance to the final round where four teams will receive an additional $5,000 each.

Prizes

The final four teams will compete to win:

  • Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000.
  • Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, for a total of $20,000.
  • People’s Choice Team selected by public vote, for an additional $5,000 (all 10 semi-finalist teams compete for this honor).

Prior to the live pitch competition, 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 USDA’s Rural Business Investment Companies.

Recent winners of the Ag Innovation Challenge include Grain Weevil Corporation, a grain bin safety and management robot that improves farmer well-being by controlling risks and costs (2022 Ag Innovation Challenge Winner) and Harvust, a software platform that helps farmers successfully hire, train and communicate with employees (2021 Ag Innovation Challenge Winner). Other examples of successful Ag Innovation Challenge participants, as well as detailed eligibility guidelines and the competition timeline can be found at the challenge website.

Entrepreneurs must be Farm Bureau members to compete to qualify as top 10 semi-finalists.

Deadline: Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on May 13, 2022.

Online Extra

Grain Weevil Corporation Wins 2022 Ag Innovation Challenge

Photo caption: Ben Johnson, a Nebraska Farm Bureau member, is team lead with Grain Weevil Corporation, the 2022 Ag Innovation Challenge winner.

Photo Credit: AFBF Photo – Philip Gerlach

Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
Sara Tallmadge's avatar
Sara Tallmadge

Ashland County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
Jim Bruner's avatar
Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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