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Idaho operation makes semi-finals of Ag Innovation Challenge

By: Jake Putnam/AFBF
Published in Blog on  October 05, 2020

WASHINGTON--An Idaho operation made it to the semi-finals of the Farm Bureau's 2021Ag Innovation Challenge. AFBF, in partnership with Farm Credit, is advancing ag innovation by supporting start-ups from across the country through the Challenge. AFBF and Farm Credit today announced the other 9 semi-finalist teams in the competition.

TerraClear out of Grangeville is an agriculture-tech company that is revolutionizing rock picking. The machinery maps the rocks in a field using cameras mounted on drones and then uses a robotic mechanism to pick up rocks. 

“The hard-working entrepreneurs recognized today are committed to providing solutions for some of the biggest challenges facing agriculture,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This includes supporting farms, ranches and rural economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the seventh 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 were awarded $7,500 each. They are:

AgriHoodBaltimore, Baltimore, Maryland. Team lead: Richard Francis  

Agro Empresas Black Belt, Coamo, Puerto Rico. Team lead: Luis Raimundo Bures Martinez

Arbre Technologies Inc., Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Team lead: Matthieu Vollmer  

BoldCypress LLC, Oran, Missouri. Team lead: Nathan Holmes

Butter Meat Co., Perry, New York. Team lead: Jill Gould

Harvust, Walla Walla, Washington. Team lead: Riley Clubb

Insulights.com , Akron, Iowa. Team lead: Bill Brown  

Parasanti, Thrall, Texas. Team lead: Max Adams

Row Shaver Systems LLC, Great Bend, Kansas. Team lead: Dave Button

TerraClear Inc., Grangeville, Idaho. Team lead: Trevor Thompson

The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention on Friday, Jan. 8, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $7,500 for a total of $15,000. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors, and industry representatives on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to win:

Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year, for a total of $50,000
People’s Choice Award, for a total of $20,000

The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business faculty, and network with representatives from the Agriculture Department’s Rural Business Investment Companies.

Farm Bureau would not be able to recognize and support these rural businesses without generous funding provided by sponsors Farm CreditBayer Crop ScienceFarm Bureau BankFarm Bureau Financial ServicesFMC Corporation and John Deere.

To learn more about the Challenge visit fb.org/challenge.

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