The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, today opened online applications for its 2019 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.
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.
Competitors are invited to submit for-profit business ideas related to food and agriculture online at http://fb.org/aginnovationchallenge by Sept. 24.
“Farm Bureau is proud to carry on our long tradition of strengthening the communities we live and farm in by encouraging new businesses across rural America,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Starting a business takes faith, courage and creativity, but rural entrepreneurs face added challenges including limited access to broadband, high transportation costs and a lack of access to business networks. Startup funds provided through the Challenge will help entrepreneurs working in food and agriculture take their businesses to the next level.”
Ten semifinalist teams will be announced on Nov. 9 and awarded $10,000. The final four teams (selected from the 10 semifinalist teams) will be announced on 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 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
Rural entrepreneurs with businesses in the following categories are encouraged to apply:
- Ag technologies;
- CSAs, farmers’ markets, food stands and food hubs;
- Farms, ranches, greenhouses, managed forests, aquaponics, cut flowers, herbs, honey and landscape plants;
- Farm-to-table businesses;
- Support services including scouting, equipment repair and fertilizer sales;
- Value-added processing including yogurts, cheese and processed meats; and
- Wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Entrepreneurs must be Farm Bureau members to compete. Applicants who are not Farm Bureau members have until Nov. 5 to join. Visit fb.org/join to learn about becoming a member. Detailed eligibility guidelines, the competition timeline and profiles of past Challenge winners are available at http://fb.org/aginnovationchallenge.
The recipient of this years $1000 Dave Fulstone II Scholarship Award is Rhiannon Hunewill Wright. Wright is a recent graduate of Smith Valley High School in Smith Valley, Nevada. Wright graduated top of her class, while also receiving college credits from Western Nevada College.
“I am so grateful to have received this award,” said Rhiannon Wright. “This scholarship will help me in achieving my educational goals.”
Wright is attending the University of Nevada, Reno this fall to pursue a degree in Agriculture Marketing with the ultimate goal of returning to her family ranch once she completes school.
Being involved in agriculture is something Wright has been passionate about since she was little being actively involved in the 4-H and FFA while growing up. Wright has also placed in prestigious Career Development Events as well as marketing her FFA steers at the local fair. She has had many Lyon county champion steers as well as champion homegrown steers at the state level. The carcass results from the Nevada Junior Livestock show has also had her steers place in the top tier.
Being brought up in a small town has given her many opportunities to develop her leadership through student council and FFA, all while being an exceptional athlete in volleyball, basketball and softball.
Wright is a role model for all the people who know her and has achieved so much while maintaining an impressive grade point average. We wish her all the best as she continues her career at the University of Nevada, Reno.
SAVE THE DATE
Stockmanship and Range & Riparian Management Seminar
August 9, 2018, 8:30AM-4:30PM, BLM State Office, Reno, NV
Stockmanship and Riparian Authors and Practitioners will be presenting on the Powerful Tool of Stockmanship and Its Potential Steve Cote, Steve Leonard, Sherm Swanson & Duane Coombs
Stockmanship is becoming widely recognized by ranchers and riders as the single most powerful tool to help them meet & exceed riparian and other standards. Many ranches are having riders attend training by Cote, Leonard and others; but, implementing stockmanship has challenges and permittees need agency support to be successful.
This program will inform agency personnel on the essentials of stockmanship and how it can be used to address riparian and other habitat management issues. Instructors will detail the challenges permittees face and the crucial role that agency staff have in supporting stockmanship and guiding successful implementation. The seminar will show photos and video of resource successes over the past 20 years and how control of the stock was obtained to help achieve them. Presentations will focus on the following:
- Rangeland/riparian indicators and management principlesoverview
- Management of stock to achieveobjectives
- Training riders to achieve outstandingcontrol
- What agency specialists/managers can do to encourage/supportimplementation
- Targeted grazing for fine fuelreduction
- And muchmore
This session will be livestreamed. Please RSVP to indicate if you will attend in person, or to receive the livestream link information.
RSVP to Dave Voth: email@example.com(775)738-8076Read more
The recipient of this years $2000 Nevada Heritage Foundation Scholarship Award is Connor Billman. Billman is a graduate of Douglas High School in Minden, Nevada. Currently Billman is a Junior at the University of Nevada, Reno, pursuing a degree in animal science. The ultimate goal of Billman is to earn a master’s degree in education and teach agriculture science.
“I am very grateful to be chosen as the recipient for the Nevada Heritage Scholarship this year,” said Connor Billman. “I plan on continuing to apply myself to more diverse agriculture opportunities so that I can become a more well-rounded agriculture leader and educator. Thank you for your support!”
Ag has always been a passion for Billman for as long as he can remember being involved in the National FFA Organization and Ag in the Classroom as a presenter for the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Billman also serves as an Ag Senator for the Associated Students at the University of Nevada, Reno and is the Vice President for the Nevada Farm Bureau Collegiate Young Farmers & Ranchers.
Billman is constantly trying to expand his knowledge and awareness of agriculture issues. Last summer Billman attended Agriculture Future of America Leaders (AFA) in Kansas City Missouri. This was an excellent opportunity for Billman to learn more about ways he could expand his personal and professional development skills to better prepare him for his future as an agriculture educator.
Being able to attend the AFA conference last summer is what Billman believes prepared him for the internship he landed this summer at Cargill, as the Food, Safety, Quality, and Regulatory (FSQR) Intern.
Billman is grateful for all the opportunities so far and looks forward to continuing to expand is education this coming school year.Read more