AUSTIN, TX – HydroSide Systems LLC is the winner of the sixth annual Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, becoming the 2020 Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year. AFBF, in partnership with Farm Credit, announced the winner at AFBF’s 101st Annual Convention.
HydroSide Systems LLC produces hydroelectric irrigation technologies that provide cost-effective solutions for small to mid-size farms. The company has received a total of $30,000 in prize money to help grow its business. Idaho Farm Bureau member Dana Mohr led the HydroSide Systems team for the Challenge.
Innovative Agriculture Technologies LLC won the People’s Choice Award, which is decided by public vote and receives a total of $25,000 for their business. North Carolina Farm Bureau member Matthew Parker led the Innovative Agriculture Technologies team, which aims to streamline the pine straw harvesting process.
Rantizo, led by Iowa Farm Bureau member Michael Ott, and Hiveland, led by Maryland Farm Bureau member Dawn Musil are the other two finalists who competed in the final round of the challenge in Austin.
The final four teams were selected on Friday from 10 semi-finalists who presented to a panel of judges. Each of the 10 finalists was awarded $10,000 and each of the final four teams was awarded an additional $5,000.
“In communities across the country, folks are coming up with innovative solutions to help farmers and ranchers continue to grow healthy, affordable food, fuel, and fiber,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “I’m proud this competition has supported so many start-up companies as they develop new technologies that have great potential to be implemented on farms and ranches nationwide and grow our rural economy.”
The Challenge provides opportunities for Farm Bureau members to showcase business innovations being developed for agriculture. The top Ag Innovation Challenge teams were selected by a panel of judges from Farm Credit Mid-America, Texas A&M, and Microsoft.
Farm Bureau is proud to recognize these businesses, in partnership with sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Country Financial, Farm Bureau Financial Services, and Farm Bureau Bank.