Three Iowa companies make semifinals of Ag Innovation Challenge

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has announced the 10 semi-finalist teams in the 2019 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Three of the ten companies to make the semifinals—Rantizo, Swine Sentinal and Tractor Zoom—are based in Iowa.

The ten semi-finalist teams were announced on Nov. 25 and awarded $10,000 each.

All ten semi-finalist teams will travel to AFBF’s Annual Convention, in Austin, Texas, in January 2020 to compete in a live competition to be the Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year. The ten teams will compete in Austin to advance to the final round where four teams will receive an additional $5,000 and compete live on stage in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives.

The final four teams will then compete to win one of two awards:

  • Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneur of the Year award and $15,000 (chosen by judges), for a total of $30,000
  • People’s Choice award and $10,000 (chosen by public vote), for a total of $25,000

“These hard-working entrepreneurs have demonstrated their commitment to take on some of the biggest challenges in agriculture. Their innovation will help American farmers continue to grow healthy, affordable products for consumers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall, in an announcement. “It’s a pleasure to recognize and award these outstanding businesses to help them deliver solutions that will drive U.S. agriculture forward.”

Iowa companies have had success at this competition in the past. Last year, three teams also made it to the semifinals and FarmlandFinder won Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneur of the Year, taking home $30,000. Iowa-based companies have won the competition four times now since it first began six years ago.

This is the sixth year of the Ag Innovation Challenge, the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses. Click here to see all ten of the semi-finalists.

Previous coverage

FarmlandFinder wins American Farm Bureaus Ag Innovation Challenge -Jan. 15, 2019

Rantizo becomes first company fully-licensed for drone spraying 10 states -Oct. 15, 2019