The American Farm Bureau Federation has opened online applications for the 2021 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. 

Launched in 2015, this national business competition showcases start-up companies that are addressing challenges faced by farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

This year, Farm Bureau is seeking entrepreneurs who are addressing both traditional challenges farmers and rural communities face as well as business owners tackling new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“In light of the impacts Farm Bureau members are experiencing from COVID-19, solutions from entrepreneurs are needed more than ever to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.

Three Iowa agricultural entrepreneur teams were among the 10 semi-finalists in the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Chal­­lenge. Previous Iowa winners of the competition included ScoutPro in 2015, AccuGrain in 2016, SwineTech in 2018 and FarmlandFinder in 2019.

Farm Bureau and Farm Credit will select 10 start-up 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. 

Four teams selected to advance to the final round will receive an additional $7,500 and compete live on stage in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives.