The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), in partnership with Farm Credit, has announced the final four teams in the 2019 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge.
“It’s an honor to recognize these four outstanding rural businesses for advancing in the Ag Innovation Challenge,” AFBF president Zippy Duvall said. “Starting rural businesses takes faith, courage and creativity. We wish all of these entrepreneurs well as they continue striving to take their food and agriculture businesses to the next level.”
The four finalist teams were awarded $15,000 each. They are:
- AgHelp Corp., a mobile platform that connects agricultural employers, support agencies and workers. Belding, Mich. Team lead: Feliciano Paredes.
- Elite OviGen Inc., a real-time software solutions for the sheep breeding industry to help small and large farms manage, market and grow their business. Beverly Hills, Fla. Team lead: Anette Skoog.
- FarmlandFinder, a company empowering farmland professionals with data, insights and knowledge about the land market while connecting them with the right people at the right time. Ames, Iowa. Team lead: Steven Brockshus.
- Glean LLC, a company that makes fruits and vegetables into healthy and versatile foods. Farmville, N.C. Team lead: Laura Hearn.
The final four teams (selected from the 10 semifinalist teams) will have all expenses paid to compete in a live pitch competition at AFBF’s 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans on Jan. 13. The final four teams will compete to win:
- Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneur of the Year award and $15,000 (chosen by judges), for a total of $30,000.
- People’s Choice award and $10,000 (chosen by public vote), for a total of $25,000.
Start-up funds for the 2019 Ag Innovation Challenge are provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Country Financial, Farm Bureau Financial Services and Farm Bureau Bank. The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the fifth year of the challenge, which is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agricultural businesses.