The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. In its sixth year, the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition for U.S. food and agriculture startups. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.
Launched in 2015 as the first national competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs, the competition continues to provide an opportunity for U.S. startups to showcase business innovations in food and agriculture. Startup funds for The Challenge have been provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Farm Bureau Bank, Country Financial and Farm Bureau Financial Services.
Ten semi-finalist teams will be announced on Nov. 5 and awarded $10,000 each. All 10 semi-finalist teams will travel to AFBF’s Annual Convention, in Austin, Texas, in January 2020, with all expenses paid, to compete in a live competition to be the Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year. The 10 teams will compete in Austin to advance to the final round where four teams will receive an additional $5,000 and compete live on stage in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives. The final four teams will compete to win:
- Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year award and $15,000 (chosen by judges), for a total of $30,000
- People’s Choice award and $10,000 (chosen by public vote), for a total of $25,000
Who Should Apply
Entrepreneurs and startups with businesses in the following categories are encouraged to apply:
- Farm, ranch, greenhouse, aquaponics
- Input product or crop variety
- Method or tool for growing, monitoring or harvesting crops or livestock
- Production support services
- Retail, agritourism or farm-to-table business
- Food/beverage/textile product or ingredient
- Method of production, preparation, or packaging of food/beverage/textile products or ingredients
- Value-added processing including yogurts, cheese and processed meats, wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries
Food & ag startups have until midnight EDT on Sept. 30, 2019 to apply.
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.
Aug. 7, 2019
Online application opens
Sept. 30, 2019
Online application closes
Nov. 5, 2019
Top Ten Semifinalists Announced
Jan. 18-20, 2020
Top Ten Compete at AFBF Annual Convention
Jan. 20, 2020
Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year & People's Choice Award Winners Annouced
Thank You to Our Sponsors
Watch the 2019 Challenge
For More Information