Cover photo for Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge

Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge

Farm Bureau

The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition that showcases U.S. startups developing innovative solutions that address challenges facing America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities. Launched in 2015, The Challenge was the first national business competition of its kind focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs.

Now in their eighth year, the American Farm Bureau Federation in partnership with Farm Credit, are looking to identify the top entrepreneurs who are addressing both traditional challenges farmers face on their operation, such as access to labor, optimizing yield and reducing operating costs, to entrepreneurs who are addressing new challenges facing farmers and rural communities.

Farm Bureau will award $165,000 in startup funds to ten businesses, culminating at a live pitch competition and networking event in Atlanta, GA. The Ag Innovation Challenge Winner will be awarded $50,000 in startup funds provided by sponsors Farm CreditBayer Crop ScienceJohn DeereFarm Bureau Bank and Microsoft.


  1. The 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is open to all Farm Bureau members.

  2. All businesses entered into The Challenge must be for-profit. Non-profit businesses are not eligible.

  3. Applicant Team Lead must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

  4. Businesses who have received a funding round beyond Series A (or a comparable funding round) are not eligible to compete in The Challenge.

  5. Previous Semi-Finalist businesses are not eligible to compete in The Challenge.

  6. Applicant Team Lead must be available to attend and participate in the Top Ten Semi-Finalist competition, the Final Four Live Pitch Event, and the awards ceremony to be held at the 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention (“Convention”) in San Juan, Puerto Rico from January 6, 2023 to January 11, 2023.


The application calls for inclusion of various information regarding an Applicant’s business plan, photos and a video pitch. An online judging committee comprised of Farm Bureau and Farm Credit staff will review and evaluate the applications using a point-based rubric and other factors as determined by the judges to select the Top Ten Semi-Finalist teams, which will be announced on September 13, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Business scores or judge’s rubric will not be sent to applicants. The Top Ten Semi-Finalists will travel to the 2023 AFBF Convention to compete live.

Round 2 will take place at the 2023 AFBF Convention, where the Top Ten Semi-Finalist teams will pitch their business in a workshop-style meeting room in front of a panel of judges and live audience. These judges, along with Farm Bureau and Farm Credit advisors will select four (4) teams to compete live in the Final Four Live Pitch competition.

Round 3, the final round, will also take place at the 2023 AFBF Convention and will consist of the Final Four (4) teams competing on stage in a live event in front of a team of judges and a live audience. The Final Four (4) teams will compete for the grand prize and title of 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, as well as the People's Choice Award. The winners will be announced at the 2023 AFBF Convention Closing General Session in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday, January 11, 2023. The Team Lead from each of the four Finalist teams is required to be present at the AFBF Convention Closing General Session and to accept their award on stage if they are chosen as a winning team.

Application Instructions

To apply for the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, please complete and submit the application at this portal by April 29, 2022 at 11:59 pm EDT. Late entries will not be accepted.



Farm Bureau

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Updated March 22, 2024

Image Credit: William Daigneault

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