Ag Innovation Event Participants
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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 ninth 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 Convention in January 2023 in San Juan, PR. The Ag Innovation Challenge Winner will be awarded $50,000 in startup funds provided by sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John DeereFarm Bureau Bank and Microsoft.

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

Meet the Challenge Semi-Finalists

Jared Achen
Iowa Farm Bureau

Emgenisys Inc.
Cara Wells
Texas Farm Bureau

Hennen Pig Chute
Brad Hennen
Minnesota Farm Bureau

MycoLogic LLC
Chris Cornelison
Georgia Farm Bureau

William Walls
Kansas Farm Bureau

ReEnvision Ag
Jason Ryner
Iowa Farm Bureau

Alexia Akbay
Hawaii Farm Bureau

Lawrence Kearns
Illinois Farm Bureau

Preston Parmley
Nebraska Farm Bureau


Farm Bureau will award $165,000 to ten businesses:

  • $50,000 will be awarded to the 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge Winner
  • $20,000 will be awarded to the 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-Up
  • $15,000 will be awarded to the Final Four teams
  • $10,000 will be awarded to the ten semi-finalist teams
  • Additional $5,000 to the People's Choice Team (chosen by public vote; all ten teams are eligible)


Ten startup businesses, selected by Farm Bureau and the Farm Credit Rural Investment and Innovation Workgroup, will compete at the AFBF Convention in January 2023 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. 6, 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 ten 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.

Winning the Ag Innovation Challenge has made for an exciting start to our year. The connections and opportunities that have come from participating in this event continue to prove extremely valuable to our development.
—  Chad Johnson, Co-Founder of Grain Weevil

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 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.

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