The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is accepting online applications for the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge through Aug. 20. This national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies that are providing innovative solutions to either traditional or new/emerging challenges faced by America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Farm Bureau will award $165,000 in startup funds.
The 2021 winner, Riley Clubb with Harvust, developed a software platform that helps farmers successfully hire, train and communicate with employees. Butter Meat Co., a 2021 semi-finalist company led by Jill Gould, is a beef supply chain startup focused on improving the value proposition of retired dairy cows as beef for farmers and consumers.
Farm Bureau and Farm Credit will select 10 startup companies to compete as semi-finalists at the AFBF Convention in January 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 10 semi-finalist teams will be announced Oct. 5 and awarded $10,000 each. These 10 teams will compete to advance to the final round where four teams will receive an additional $5,000 each 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 Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000
- Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, for a total of $20,000
- People’s Choice Team selected by public vote, for an additional $5,000 (all 10 semi-finalist teams compete for this honor)
The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management faculty prior to competing at AFBF’s Convention. In addition, the top 10 semi-finalist teams will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and venture capital representatives from the Agriculture Department’s Rural Business Investment Companies.
Entrepreneurs must be Farm Bureau members to qualify as top 10 semi-finalists. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can join a state Farm Bureau of their choice. Visit https://www.fb.org/about/join to learn about becoming a member. Detailed eligibility guidelines, the competition timeline, videos and profiles of past winners are available at fb.org/challenge.
Applications must be received by midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Aug. 20.