AFBF, in partnership with Farm Credit, announced the winners Monday at the AFBF’s 101st Annual Convention in Austin, Texas. “We went to Austin with the intent of winning it all because we believe that our technology will make a huge impact on farming by automating all forms of traveling irrigation," added Mohr.
Not many innovations have been made to traveling irrigators in the past 40 years. So HydroSide set out to reinvent traveling irrigation. The Idaho innovators did it with its patent-pending hydroelectric drive and navigation system that automates traveling irrigators. Things like wheel lines, traveling guns, and traveling booms.
In addition to automating the systems, HydroSide has also introduced precision irrigation technology. They've made it so farmers can use their smartphones or computers to run their irrigation sets. The new technology allows farmers for the first time to get real-time data regarding their power usage and savings, GPS positioning and even allows them to plan their irrigation sets based on ideal watering patterns and depth of saturation.
“In communities across the country, folks are coming up with innovative solutions to help farmers and ranchers continue to grow healthy, affordable food, fuel, and fiber,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “I’m proud this competition has supported so many start-up companies as they develop new technologies that have great potential to be implemented on farms and ranches nationwide and grow our rural economy.”
The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge was the first national competition focused just on rural entrepreneurs, and the competition provides an opportunity for US startups to showcase business innovations in food and agriculture. The Challenge is a national business competition and the American Farm Bureau Federation partnered with Farm Credit and awarded $145,000 in startup cash to entrepreneurs. Nine other teams competed for the AFBF Entrepreneur of the Year
The top Ag Innovation Challenge teams were selected by a panel of judges from Farm Credit Mid-America, Texas A&M, and Microsoft.