The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, continues its focus on advancing agricultural innovation by supporting startup business from across the nation. Another Nebraska startup company TreadSure became one of the 10 semi-finalists in the 2023 AFBF Ag Innovation Challenge.
“TreadSure compiles agricultural data from dozens of popular tire and track manufacturers and puts them all into one easy-to-use app conveniently found on your phone,” said Audrey Schipporeit, director of generational engagement. “This makes seven startup Nebraska companies who have made it into the semi-finals of the Ag Innovation Challenge. Grain Weevil Corporation was the 2022 winner. Nebraska Farm Bureau is connecting innovators to agriculture and looks forward to supporting our Nebraska entrepreneurs.”
According to AFBF President Zippy Duvall, the future of agriculture depends on innovative solutions to the challenges that we’re facing today. “The entrepreneurs behind the startup companies we’re recognizing are committed to helping rural communities and supporting farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on,” Duvall said.
The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the ninth year of the challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses.
The 10 semi-finalist teams are being awarded $10,000 each. They are:
Atlantic Aquaculture Technologies, Massachusetts. Team lead: Daniel Ward
Emgenisys Inc., Texas. Team lead: Cara Wells
Hennen Pig Chute, Minnesota. Team lead: Brad Hennen
MycoLogic LLC, Georgia. Team lead: Chris Cornelison
NORDEF, Kansas. Team lead: William Walls
ReEnvision Ag, Iowa. Team lead: Jayson Ryner
Symbrosia, Hawaii. Team lead: Alexia Akbay
TrackerSled, Illinois. Team lead: Lawrence Kearns
TreadSure, Nebraska. Team lead: Preston Parmley
Vence, California. Team lead: Ben Veres
The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, Jan. 6, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000 each. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives on Sunday, Jan. 8, to win three top titles and prizes:
- Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, a total of $50,000
- Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, a total of $20,000
- People’s Choice Team selected by public vote, 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 semi-finalist teams will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and venture capital representatives from the Agriculture Department’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 Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank and Microsoft.
Nebraska Farm Bureau connecting innovators to agriculture
This is the ninth year of the American Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, which was the first national
business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses. Nebraska has had huge success working with startup companies to highlight their innovative ideas. Here are the Nebraska companies that made it to the semi-finals or won the Ag Innovation Challenge:
– Strategic Management of Agriculture Related Technologies (S.M.A.R.T.)
– Grain Goat – Windcall Manufacturing Inc.
– Grain Weevil Corporation (2022 winner)
– Bird’s Eye Robotics
– Marble Technologies