The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for the 2021 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. This national business competition showcases U.S. startup companies that are addressing challenges faced by America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Farm Bureau will award $145,000 in startup funds provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Bayer Crop Science, Country Financial, Farm Bureau Financial Services and Farm Bureau Bank.
Farm Bureau and Farm Credit will select 10 startup companies to compete at the AFBF Annual Convention in January 2021 as semi-finalists. The 10 semi-finalist teams will be announced on Oct. 5 and awarded $7,500 each. The 10 teams will compete to advance to the final round where four teams will receive an additional $7,500 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, for a total of $50,000
- People’s Choice award, for a total of $20,000
The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics & Managementfaculty 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 July 31, 2020.