Farm Bureau® Challenge

The Farm Bureau® Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses. American Farm Bureau is committed to helping rural communities thrive. The heartbeat of rural communities are the businesses that are developed there. The Challenge provides rural entrepreneurs with seed money to help grow their businesses. Rural entrepreneurs pitch innovative business ideas to a team of judges with expertise in business development and agribusiness. These entrepreneurs compete for $145,000 of startup funds. 


The 2016 Challenge Top Ten teams have been selected. Six semi-finalists will each receive $10,000 in startup funds. Four finalists will each receive $15,000 and compete for an additional $25,000 at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Orlando in January 2016. 

  1. AgriSync (finalist)
    • Casey Niemann & Jerrod Westfahl
    • Dallas Center, Iowa
  2. Farm Specific Technology (finalist)
    • ​Shawn Butler & Austin Scott
    • Boliva, Tennessee
  3. AccuGrain (finalist)
    • Ryan Augustine & Steven Brockshus
    • Rose Hill, Iowa
  4. Fedora Malthouse (finalist)
    • Julie Baker & John Enderle
    • Shepherd, Michigan
  5. Strategic Management of Agriculture Related Technologies (semi-finalist)
    • Kurtis Charling
    • Oakland, Nebraska
  6. Smiling Hara LLC (semi-finalist)
    • Sarah Yancey, Chad Oliphant & McCayne Miller
    • Mars Hill, North Carolina
  7. Kolb Farms (semi-finalist)
    • Adam J. Kolb
    • Cleveland, Wisconsin
  8. Pumpkin Vine Creek LLC (semi-finalist)
    • Robin Richmond Mason & Alison Mason
    • Paint Lick, Kentucky
  9. Cherry Brother Designs LLC (semi-finalist)
    • Tina Cherry & Greg Cherry
    • Shelbyville, Indiana
  10. Lilac Hedge Farm LLC (semi-finalist)
    • Ryan MacKay & Tom Corbett
    • Berlin, Massachusetts