The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has announced the 10 semi-finalist teams in the 2019 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge.

“It’s a pleasure to recognize these 10 outstanding rural businesses,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Recognition of the faith, courage and creativity these entrepreneurs have shown in starting their rural businesses is well-deserved. Startup funds provided to the semi-finalists through the Challenge will help them take their food and agriculture businesses to the next level.”

Farm Bureau would not be able to recognize and support these rural businesses without generous funding provided by sponsors Farm Credit, John Deere, Country Financial, Farm Bureau Financial Services and Farm Bureau Bank.

The 10 semi-finalist teams were awarded $10,000 each. They are:

AgHelp Corp.,, Belding, Michigan. Team lead: Feliciano Paredes

Continuum Ag,, Washington, Iowa. Team lead: Mitchell Hora

Elite OviGen Inc.,, Beverly Hills, Florida. Team lead: Anette Skoog

FarmlandFinder,, Ames, Iowa. Team lead: Steven Brockshus

Glean LLC,, Farmville, North Carolina. Team lead: Laura Hearn


Merchant’s Garden AgroTech,, Tucson, Arizona. Team lead: Chaz Shelton

Nebullam LLC,, Ames, Iowa. Team lead: Clayton Mooney

Pasture Labs/Trackter,, Newnan, Georgia. Team lead: Josh Whitlock

Texas Mobile Mill LLC,, Madisonville, Texas. Team lead: Cathy Bernell

Vinduino LLC,, Temecula, California. Team lead: Reinier van der Lee

The final four teams (selected from the 10 semi-finalist teams) will be announced Dec. 5 and will receive an additional $5,000 and have all expenses paid to compete in a live pitch competition at AFBF’s 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans on Jan. 13. The final four teams will compete to win:

  • 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

Startup funds for the 2019 Ag Innovation Challenge are provided by sponsors Farm CreditJohn DeereCountry FinancialFarm Bureau Financial Services and Farm Bureau Bank.

The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the fifth year of the Challenge, which is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses.