2023 Ag Innovation Challenge

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is seeking entrepreneurs to apply online for the 2024 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Now in its 10th 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 will award $165,000 in startup funds to 10 businesses, culminating at a live pitch competition and networking event at the AFBF Convention in January 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Ag Innovation Challenge Winner will be awarded $50,000 in startup funds provided by the contest sponsors.

Applications remain open through May 12, 2023.


Ten startup businesses, selected by Farm Bureau and the Farm Credit Rural Investment and Innovation Workgroup, will compete at the AFBF Convention in January 2024 as semi-finalists. These ten businesses will be awarded $10,000 each.

The ten semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention on Friday, Jan. 19, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives to win:

Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000
Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-Up, for a total of $20,000
People’s Choice Team, for an additional $5,000

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 May 12, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Feature photo: 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge winners NORDEF


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.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
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.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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