The deadline to apply for Farm Bureau’s Ag Innovation Challenge is August 20. Emma Larson, AFBF Assistant Director of Industry Relations, says the challenge offers a unique opportunity for rural entrepreneurs.
"The Ag innovation Challenge provides entrepreneurs across the nation the exposure at a national level for our convention in January, the ability to network with agribusinesses, the rural business investment community within the USDA. So, we’re really excited to offer them those opportunities in addition to the funds that they can invest into their businesses, into their communities, scale up and really make an impact, said Larson.
The American Farm Bureau will award a total of $165,000 in startup funds to ten businesses through the challenge.
"The Ag Innovation Challenge winner will be awarded $50,000 and some bragging rights. We’ve added a second-place runner-up who will win $20,000, and the People’s Choice team which is selected by a public vote will win an additional $5,000. And, of course, I’d be remiss to not thank our sponsors who have made this program possible, Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank, Farm Bureau Financial Serves, and FMC Corporation," said Larson.
Larson says it all starts with an application.
"You must be a U.S. for-profit company and you must be a Farm Bureau Member. It’s about a ten-question application wanting to know more about your business plans, where are you in the funding stages, as well as what you would plan to do with the money," said Larson.
Farmers and entrepreneurs can apply and learn more at fb.org/challenge.