Source: American Farm Bureau Federation (Photo courtesy AFBF)

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), in partnership with Farm Credit, announced the top 10 semi-finalist teams in the 2020 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Three of the semi-finalists, Rantizo, SwineSentinel and Tractor Zoom are Iowa-based startups. Tractor Zoom is a cohort three member of the ISU Startup Factory.

The 10 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, with all expenses paid, 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 compete to win:

  • Farm Bureau 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 exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses. It provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture.

The finalists:

  1. Ag Butler, Lebanon, Missouri. Team lead: Kevin Johansen
  2. Green State Biochar, Barton, Vermont. Team lead: Donna Pion
  3. Hivelend, Baltimore, Maryland. Team lead: Dawn Musil
  4. HydroSide Systems LLC, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Team lead: Dana Mohr
  5. Innovative Agricultural Technologies, LLC, Carthage, North Carolina. Team lead: Matthew Parker
  6. Rantizo, Iowa City, Iowa. Team lead: Michael Ott
  7. Re-Nuble, New York, New York. Team lead: Tinia Pina
  8. SwineSentinel, Ames, Iowa. Team lead: B.J. Brugman
  9. The Bene Baby Company, Inc, Nekoosa, Wisconsin. Team lead: Nikos Linardakis
  10. Tractor Zoom, Waukee, Iowa. Team lead: Kyle McMahon

Read the full Farm Bureau press release at