The award, in its second year, is designed to promote the innovative spirit in young farmers, ages 18-35, around the state by creating businesses within niche markets, agritourism, ag services or specialty products.
“Farmers have faced an incredible amount of adversity this year with unforeseen challenges and hardship, but it hasn’t discouraged our will to find new ways to persevere,” said Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. “This award elevates those young Iowa farmers who are innovating and seeking alternative paths in agriculture to provide for their families and offer their local communities something unique. All contestants should be extremely proud of their businesses and place within Iowa agriculture, and to show our pride in these young farmers, Iowa Farm Bureau is offering the top three Grow Your Future award winners recognition and monetary awards to help elevate their brand and hard work.”
Cash awardsThe top three Grow Your Future winners for 2021 will receive cash prizes to grow their business with first place taking home $7,500, second place $5,000 and third place $2,500.
“I highly encourage young farmers to enter the Grow Your Future competition,” said 2020 winner Shelby Smith of Gym-N-Eat Crickets of Story County. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase your business, learn to tell your story and meet other farmers and entrepreneurs. The experience was invaluable to me, and two of my growers came from connections made during my pitch at the Young Farmer Conference.”
Apply onlineOnline applications are due by Sept. 1, 2020. Hopeful contestants will need to submit a short video introducing themselves, their business, the impact it has had on the local community and future goals. Ten finalists will be selected from the submitted applications. To learn more about eligibility for the Grow Your Future award and how to enter, visit
To narrow the playing field, a public vote will kick off on Dec. 8 during the IFBF annual meeting and run through Dec. 17. During that time, the public will be encouraged to vote for their favorite Iowa contestant.
The top six entrepreneurs that emerge from the voting round will compete in a pitch-off during the 2021 Young Farmer Conference set for Jan. 30, and the prize-winning top three will be announced then.