Beginning May 1, Farm Bureau members who operate food and agribusinesses can enter the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Contestants in the American Farm Bureau Federation competition will vie for $145,000 in startup funds.
Eligible businesses include farms, agritourism, CSAs, food hubs, aquaponics, farm-to-table businesses, local food production and craft breweries. Applications, available at strongruralamerica.com/challenge, must be completed by June 30.
Contestants must be Farm Bureau members who are at least 18 years old. Judges will review applications in July and August. The top 10 will attend an event during the October AFBF Board meeting. Live competition among the final four will occur Jan. 5-10 at the AFBF Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
Four finalist awards will include Entrepreneur of the Year, $30,000; People’s Choice Award, $25,000; and two runners-up, $15,000 each.
For the first time, six contestants will each earn $10,000 Best in Show Awards. Categories include startups on the farm, agritourism, farm-to-table, ag tech, craft beverage and local product.
2018 Challenge Timeline
- May 1, 2017: Online application opens
- June 30, 2017: Online application closes
- July - Aug 2017: Judges review applications
- October 2017: Judges announce Top Ten teams in Washington, DC
- Four finalist teams ($15,000 each)
- Best Farm Startup ($10,000)
- Best Local Product Startup ($10,000)
- Best Agritourism Startup ($10,000)
- Best Farm-to-Table Startup ($10,000)
- Best Ag Tech & Support Service Startup ($10,000)
- Best Craft Beverage Startup ($10,000)
- January 2018: Four finalists compete at American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Nashville, TN
- Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year winner ($15,000)
- People's Choice winner ($10,000)
Any questions? Contact Lisa Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confidentiality of Applications
Terms and Conditions
When individuals apply to the Farm Bureau Challenge, they agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions of the competition. Review the Terms and Conditions.
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