The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has extended the deadline to May 26 for 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 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 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Start-up companies like those we recognize through the Ag Innovation Challenge play an important role in the future success of American agriculture,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers are committed to the mission of providing the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on but our journey of continuous improvement is powered by innovation.”
Will Walls, team lead with NORDEF, 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge winner, shared insights from his experience participating in the contest.
“The competition process has been great – the exposure, the relationships, the networking, has been wonderful,” said Walls. “We’ve met a lot of great people who have validated our idea and our business model.” NORDEF developed technology to produce diesel exhaust fluid at the point of use.
The 10 semi-finalist teams will be announced Sept. 12. 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. The final four teams will compete to win:
Examples of successful Ag Innovation Challenge participants, as well as detailed eligibility guidelines and the competition timeline, can be found at fb.org/challenge.
Entrepreneurs must be members of a county or parish Farm Bureau within their state of residence to qualify as top 10 semi-finalists. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can visit https://www.fb.org/about/get-involved#join to learn about becoming a member.
Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on May 26.