2016 Winners & Judges

In the second year of the Rural Entrepreneurshiop Challenge, American Farm Bureau received 165 applications from entrepreneurs nationwide (more than double the apps we received the previous year). We increased the startup funds that were awarded and doubled the number of entrepreneurs who received those awards. American Farm Bureau awarded $145,000 in startup funds to 10 rural entrepreneurs.

Farm Bureau Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner

AccuGrain - $30,000 prize
Ryan Augustine, Steven Brockshus, Rob Taylor
Rose Hill, Iowa

People's Choice Award winner

Farm Specific Technology - $25,000 prize
Shawn Butler & Austin Scott
Boliva, Tennessee

Finalist Runner-Up

AgriSync - $15,000 prize
Casey Niemann & Jerrod Westfahl
Dallas Center, Iowa

Finalist Runner-Up

Fedora Malthouse - $15,000 prize
Julie Baker & John Enderle
Shepherd, Michigan


Cherry Brother Designs LLC - $10,000 prize
Tina Cherry & Greg Cherry
Shelbyville, Indiana


Kolb Farms - $10,000 prize
Adam J. Kolb
Cleveland, Wisconsin


Lilac Hedge Farm LLC - $10,000 prize
Ryan McKay & Tom Corbett
Berlin, Massachusetts


Pumpkin Vine Creek LLC - $10,000 prize
Robin Richmond Mason & Alison Mason
Paint Lick, Kentucky


S.M.A.R.T. - $10,000 prize
Kurtis Charling
Oakland, Nebraska


Smiling Hara LLC - $10,000 prize
Sarah Yancey, Chad Oliphant, McCayne Miller
Mars Hill, North Carolina


Brett Challenger

   Regional Vice President
   Regional Agribusiness Banking Division

Justin Renfro

   Program Manager
   Kiva. org


Dr. Ed Rister

   Professor & Associate Department Head
   Department of Agricultural Economics 
   Texas A&M University

Nathan Tacha

   Vice President
   Commercial Information Officer
   Bank of America