AFBF: Entrepreneurs Needed to Rise to the Challenge
The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition that showcases U.S. startups developing innovative solutions that address challenges facing America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Launched in 2015, The Challenge was the first national business competition of its kind focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs.
Now in their eighth year, the American Farm Bureau Federation in partnership with Farm Credit, are looking to identify the top entrepreneurs who are addressing both traditional challenges farmers face on their operation, such as access to labor, optimizing yield and reducing operating costs, to entrepreneurs who are addressing new challenges facing farmers and rural communities.
Farm Bureau will award $165,000 in startup funds to ten businesses, culminating at a live pitch competition and networking event at the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2022 in Atlanta, GA. The Ag Innovation Challenge Winner will be awarded $50,000 in startup funds provided by sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank, Farm Bureau Financial Services, and FMC Corporation.
“The future of agriculture will rely on innovative solutions to the challenges we face. The Ag Innovation Challenge helps entrepreneurs grow their ideas into products that support farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on.”
– AFBF President Zippy Duvall
Farm Bureau will award $165,000 to ten businesses:
- $50,000 will be awarded to the 2022 Ag Innovation Challenge Winner
- $20,000 will be awarded to the 2022 Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-Up
- $15,000 will be awarded to two finalist teams
- $10,000 will be awarded to six semi-finalist teams
- Additional $5,000 to the People’s Choice Team (chosen by public vote; all ten teams are eligible)
“The Farm Bureau and the Ag Innovation Challenge have been essential towards helping us grow into our vision. I highly recommend this competition to every ag entrepreneur out there!”
— Riley Clubb, Co-Founder of Harvust
Ten startup businesses were selected by Farm Bureau and the Farm Credit Rural Investment and Innovation Workgroup who will compete at the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2022 as Semi-Finalists. These ten businesses will be awarded $10,000 each.
The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Annual Convention on Friday, Jan. 7, 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
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.
Farm Bureau Innovation Team
American Farm Bureau Federation Staff
- Sarah Brown, Executive Director of Industry Relations
- Emma Larson, Assistant Director, Industry Relations
- Sarah Bair, Industry Relations Coordinator
Farm Credit Council Staff
- Robbie Boone, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
- Brittany Jablonsky, Senior Director of Communications
- Sophie Neems, Communications Specialist
Terms and Conditions
Entrepreneurs must be Farm Bureau members to qualify as a top ten semi-finalist. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can join a state Farm Bureau of their choice. Visit fb.org/join to learn about becoming a member.
Partnering with Farm Credit to Support Rural Entrepreneurship
Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. Our nationwide network of customer-owned financial institutions provides loans and related financial services to U.S. farmers and ranchers, farmer-owned cooperatives, rural homebuyers, agribusinesses and rural infrastructure providers.
Providing much-needed capital to Rural Business Investment Companies (RBICs) and other rural entities, mentoring rural entrepreneurs and fostering innovation in rural America are other ways Farm Credit fulfills its mission to support vibrant rural communities. That is why Farm Credit is pleased to be the American Farm Bureau Federation’s premier partner on the Ag Innovation Challenge.
For more information, visit www.FarmCredit.com.
For More Information
The American Farm Bureau Federation is the Voice of Agriculture®. We are farm and ranch families working together to build a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber and renewable fuel for our nation and the world. learn more online at www.fb.org