Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge

The Challenge gives rural entrepreneurs the chance to pitch innovative agribusiness ideas to judges and compete for start-up funds to implement their ideas. Over 200 applications were submitted for the 2015 Challenge. Judges chose four finalist teams to compete for $85,000 in seed money. If you missed the live pitches in San Diego, watch the recording here.

2015 Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year - ScoutPro, Inc., Lone Tree, IA

Michael Koenig and Stuart McCulloh, ScoutPro, Inc., pitch to the judges.

The judging team chose ScoutPro, Inc. from Lone Tree, IA as the Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year and awarded them a total of $30,000 in start-up funds. The finalist teams pitched their businesses in front of a standing room only audience of more than 200 people. Dr. Rob Leclerc, AgFunder; Amy Gales, CoBank; Mark Rockefeller, StreetShares; and Dr. Ron Hustedde, University of Kentucky and Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute, judged the live finals competition. Dave Alwan of Echo Valley Meats, a cattleman and farmer featured on Shark Tank, served as moderator.

2015 People’s Choice Award - Pasturebird LLC, Temecula, CA

Paul Grieve, Pasturebird LLC, pitches to the judges.

Audience members voted for Pasturebird LLC from Temecula, CA as their favorite finalist team and the winner of the People’s Choice Award, including a total of $25,000 in start-up funds. More than 4,500 people from all 50 states voted for their favorite Challenge finalist team through the American Farm Bureau Convention app. People attending the Convention in San Diego watched the event in person, and people throughout the country watched the event through a live video stream.