Ag News

AFBF accepting entries for Ag Innovation Challenge

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, is accepting 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 in its sixth year to provide an opportunity for U.S. startups to showcase business innovations in food and agriculture. Startup funds for the challenge are provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Farm Bureau Bank, Country Financial and Farm Bureau Financial Services.

To apply for the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, competitors can apply online at http://fb.org/aginnovationchallenge by midnight Eastern Standard Time on Oct. 14. 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 and People’s Choice award and $10,000 (chosen by public vote), for a total of $25,000.

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; and value-added processing including yogurts, cheeses and processed meats, wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries.

Entrepreneurs must be Farm Bureau members to qualify as a top-10 semi-finalist. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can join a state Farm Bureau of their choice. Visit www.gfb.ag/join to learn about becoming a Georgia Farm Bureau member. Detailed eligibility guidelines, the competition timeline, videos and profiles of past challenge winners are available at http://fb.org/aginnovationchallenge.