10 semi-finalist teams advance in Ag Innovation Challenge


The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, continues its focus on advancing agricultural innovation by supporting start-up business from across the nation. AFBF and Farm Credit recently announced the 10 semi-finalist teams in the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge.


“The future of agriculture depends on innovative solutions to the challenges that we’re facing today,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The entrepreneurs behind the start-up companies we’re recognizing 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.”


The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the ninth year of the Challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses.


The 10 semi-finalist teams are being awarded $10,000 each. They are:


Atlantic Aquaculture Technologies, Massachusetts. Team lead: Daniel Ward


Emgenisys Inc., Texas. Team lead: Cara Wells


Hennen Pig Chute, Minnesota. Team lead: Brad Hennen


MycoLogic LLC, Georgia. Tean lead: Chris Cornelison


NORDEF, Kansas. Team lead: William Walls


ReEnvision Ag, Iowa. Team lead: Jayson Ryner


Symbrosia, Hawaii. Team lead: Alexia Akbay


TrackerSled, Illinois. Team lead: Lawrence Kearns


TreadSure, Nebraska. Team lead: Preston Parmley


Vence, California. Team lead: Ben Veres


The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, Jan. 6, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000 each. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives on Sunday, Jan. 8, to win three top titles and prizes:


  • 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 SC Johnson College of Business 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 Program.


Farm Bureau would not be able to recognize and support these rural businesses without generous funding provided by sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank and Microsoft.


To learn more about the Challenge visit fb.org/challenge.

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