> News Release

NORDEF Wins Ag Innovation Challenge

AFBF Staff

Austin Hausmann, NORDEF

photo credit: AFBF Photo, Michael LoBiondo

MycoLogic LLC wins People’s Choice Award

The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, now in its ninth year, provides opportunities for Farm Bureau members to showcase business innovations being developed for agriculture. NORDEF is the winner of this year’s competition. The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, announced the winner from among four finalists at the 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention.

NORDEF developed technology to produce diesel exhaust fluid at the point of use and received a total of $50,000 in prize money to help grow the business. DEF is injected into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down emissions to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards. Austin Hausmann, a Kansas Farm Bureau member, is team lead for the company.

EmGenisys Inc. was named runner-up in the contest and received a total of $20,000. The company offers a noninvasive solution to improve pregnancy outcomes of assisted reproductive techniques in livestock. Cara Wells, a Texas Farm Bureau member, is team lead for the company.

photo credit: Cara Wells, EmGenisys Inc.

AFBF Photo, Michael LoBiondo

Finalist MycoLogic LLC won the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by public vote, and received $5,000 in additional prize money. Chris Cornelison, a Georgia Farm Bureau member, is team lead for the company, which developed technology farmers can use to grow larger quantities of mushrooms more efficiently.

Finalist ChopLocal also competed in the final four round of the competition and provided an excellent overview of the company and future growth for their online meat marketplace.

The final four teams were selected on Friday from semi-finalist business owners who presented to a panel of three industry judges: Will Hileman, president & CEO, Farm Bureau Bank; Trey Davis, state policy & advocacy lead, Bayer CropScience; and Brett Sciotto, founder and CEO, Aimpoint Research.

The four finalists are all impressive and I am confident that they are going to succeed

- Zippy Duvall

photo credit: AFBF Photo, Michael LoBiondo

Chris Cornelison, MycoLogic LLC

Each of the semi-finalist teams was awarded $10,000; the final four teams were awarded an additional $5,000 each.

“The start-up companies we’re recognizing today are committed to helping rural communities and supporting farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The four finalists are all impressive and I am confident that they are going to succeed. More broadly, the innovative solutions developed by these entrepreneurs are helping shape the future of agriculture.”

photo credit: AFBF Photo, Michael LoBiondo

Katie Olthoff, ChopLocal

The Ag Innovation Challenge winner was selected by a three-person judging panel: Ricardo Fernandez, president and CEO, Puerto Rico Farm Credit; George Gough, policy and advocacy programs manager, Bayer CropScience; and Patricia Ramírez, collaborator, Grupo Guayacán Inc.

Farm Bureau is proud to recognize these innovative businesses, in partnership with sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank and Farm Bureau Financial Services.

2024 Ag Innovation Challenge

Applications are now being accepted for the 2024 Ag Innovation Challenge. Learn more at fb.org/challenge.

Press Contact

Mike Tomko
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3642

Bailey Corwine
Media Relations Specialist
(202) 406-3643


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