Idem Irrigation, based in Gering, Neb., was selected as a top 10 finalist in the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Idem Irrigation specializes in precisions application of water, fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide through its patent pending pivot sprinkler head technology. They have been awarded $10,000 and will competed for the top spot at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in January.
“Nebraska’s vibrant agricultural start-up ecosystem continues to find innovative solutions to solve the challenges farmers and ranchers face and keep our state’s number one industry strong. We are excited to showcase Nebraska and its entrepreneurs on a national scale,” said Audrey Schipporeit, director of generational engagement.
American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, present the Ag Innovation Challenge which provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the 10th year of the Challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching agriculture and food-related businesses. Farm Bureau is offering $165,000 in start-up funds throughout the course of the competition.
The 10 semi-finalist teams are being awarded $10,000 each. They are:
- anu, Indiana. Team lead: Scott Massey
- Appanoose Manufactured Products, Iowa. Team lead: Mark Mendick
- Barn Owl Precision Agriculture, Colorado. Team lead: Sarah Hinkley
- Idem Irrigation, Nebraska. Team lead: Phil Holliday
- ReproHealth Technologies, Indiana. Team lead: Jim Donahue
- Secret Garden Bees, North Carolina. Team lead: James Hartman
- Share Farm, Washington. Team lead: Vincent Peak
- Smooth Ag, Texas. Team lead: River McTasney
- UAV-IQ Precision Agriculture, California. Andreas Neuman
- Udder Ways LLC, New York. Team lead: Jody Neal
The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention on Friday, Jan. 19, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 bringing their total to $15,000 each. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives on Sunday, Jan. 21, to win three top titles and prizes:
- Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000
- Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, for a total of $20,000
- People’s Choice Team selected by public vote, for an additional $5,000 (all 10 semi-finalist teams compete for this honor)
The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business faculty prior to competing at AFBF’s Convention. In addition, the top 10 semi-finalist teams will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and venture capital representatives from USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program.
Farm Bureau would not be able to recognize and support these rural businesses without generous funding provided by sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank and Farm Bureau Financial Services.
To learn more about the Challenge visit fb.org/challenge.