Rural entrepreneurs are invited to compete for $145,000 in startup funds from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

This is the first national rural business competition focused exclusively on entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses.

The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations that benefit rural regions of the United States.

Owners of all types of businesses across the food and agriculture supply chain are encouraged to enter the competition. Applications, which include a business plan, video pitch and photo, must be submitted online by June 30. Judges will review the applications and provide feedback to the participants.

The top 10 teams, to be announced in October, will be offered the opportunity to pitch to multimillion dollar investors, in addition to receiving education about venture capital and expanding their businesses.

Businesses related to food and agriculture include farms or ranches, value-added food processing, food hubs and community-supported agriculture programs, farm-to-table restaurants, farmers’ markets and craft beverage startups. Businesses can also support food and agriculture such as crop scouting, agritourism, ag advertising agencies and ag technology companies.

The competition timeline, detailed eligibility guidelines and profiles of past Challenge winners are available at strongruralamerica.com/challenge.

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