The American Farm Bureau Federation together with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Global Social Enterprise Initiative and Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative’s StartupHoyas has announced the Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year as part of the first-ever Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. The winner was announced at AFBF’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show. Four finalists competed for the award by pitching their business ideas to a team of judges before a live audience.
Lone Tree, Iowa, team lead Michael Koenig, was named Entrepreneur of the Year from a field of four finalists and
received a total of $30,000 in prize money to implement his business idea,
which is software to assist farmers with crop maintenance.
Pasturebird, LLC of
Temecula, California, team lead Paul Greive, won the
People’s Choice award in the competition and $10,000 in prize money. Members of
the live audience at the challenge finals competition and members of the
general public voted online to select the People’s Choice winner. Pasturebird
is a cost-effective method of producing pastured poultry on a large scale.
continue to be a major driving force in our nation’s economy,” AFBF President
Bob Stallman said. “We congratulate all the finalists and wish them well in
their future business endeavors.”
The finalist businesses
were chosen from more than 200 applicants. Golden Bridges, Inc. of Palmyra,
Missouri, team lead Suzanne Ellerbrock, and Pulaski
Grow of Pulaski, Virginia, team lead Lee
Spiegel, were the other two finalists who competed in
the final round of the challenge in San Diego.
“The seed money
provided to entrepreneurs through the challenge will help them take their
businesses to the next level, which can make a huge difference in small rural
communities,” said Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown
The Farm Bureau Rural
Entrepreneurship Challenge is a key component of the Rural Entrepreneurship
Initiative, a joint effort between AFBF and the Georgetown McDonough School of
Business. The Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative is directly tied to AFBF’s
mission of building strong and prosperous agricultural communities. Learn more
In addition to the
prize money awarded at the convention, each of the four national finalists
received $15,000 in November for advancing in the competition.
Dr. Ron Leclerc,
AgFunder; Amy Gales, CoBank; Mark Rockefeller, StreetShares.com;
and Dr. Ron Hustedde, University of Kentucky and Kentucky Entrepreneurial
Coaches Institute, judged the live finals competition. Dave Alwan of Echo
Valley Meats, a cattleman and farmer featured on Shark Tank, served as
About the American Farm Bureau Federation
With family members at the county or parish level in all 50 states and Puerto
Rico, the American Farm Bureau Federation is the unified national “Voice of
Agriculture,” working to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans to
build strong, prosperous agricultural communities. AFBF is the nation’s largest
and most influential grassroots organization of farm and ranch families.
Additional information may be found at www.fb.org. Follow AFBF on Twitter: @FarmBureau.
Global Social Enterprise Initiative
The Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown’s McDonough School of
Business aims to prepare current and future leaders to make responsible
management decisions that yield both economic and social value. Through
practical training for global business leaders, the initiative promotes
transformative solutions to and impactful investments in the world’s
significant challenges in health and well-being, economic growth, the
environment and international development. Learn more at http://socialenterprise.georgetown.edu.
Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, led by founding director Jeff Reid,
inspires Georgetown University students to be entrepreneurial, teaches them the
entrepreneurial lessons learned by others before them, connects them to useful
resources, and helps them pursue their own unique entrepreneurial interests.
The initiative manages an array of courses and extracurricular programs to
serve the Georgetown University entrepreneurial community, both within and
outside of the McDonough School of Business, and fosters stronger connections
to the vibrant Washington, D.C., entrepreneurial community and the Georgetown
Alumni Association. Signature programs include the Hoya Challenge Business
Pitch Competition, the StartupHoyas Incubator, the McDonough School of Business
Entrepreneurial Fellowship, the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance, the
Georgetown Entrepreneurship Faculty Exchange, Entrepreneurs in Residence, and
events such as Georgetown Entrepreneurship Day, the Venture Capital Investment
Competition and Global Entrepreneurship Week. Learn more at www.startuphoyas.com.
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business provides a
transformational education through classroom and experiential learning,
preparing students to graduate as principled leaders in the service to business
and society. Through numerous centers, initiatives, and partnerships,
Georgetown McDonough seeks to create a meaningful impact on global business
practice through both research and teaching. All academic programs provide a
global perspective, woven through the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in
a way that is unique to Washington, D.C. – the nexus of world business and
policy – and to Georgetown University’s connections to global partner
organizations and a worldwide alumni network. Founded in 1957, Georgetown
McDonough is home to some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 1,200
participants in executive degree or open enrollment programs. Learn more at http://msb.georgetown.edu.
Follow us on Twitter: @msbgu.
ScoutPro of Iowa Honored as Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year