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Tompkins CFB Member a Semi-Finalist in AFBF’s Ag Innovation Challenge

The American Farm Bureau, in partnership with Farm Credit East, continues to advance ag innovation by supporting start-up business from across the country. Recently, AFBF and Farm Credit East have announced the 10 semi-finalist teams in the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, and New York Farm Bureau has one of them.

The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the eighth year of the Challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agricultural businesses.

Propagate Ventures, CEO and team leader Ethan Steinberg and their team, out of Trumansburg (Tompkins County), are semi-finalists in the competition. Propagate Ventures is all about regenerative agricultural simplified (as they say themselves) and helping folks set up their businesses. Analytics play a key role in this planning process. You can choose your crops, design your fields and automatically get insights on costs, revenues, labor assumptions, yield projections, and more.

The 10 semi-finalists, whom each earned $10,000, will compete at the AFBF Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, Jan. 7, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000 each. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members from across the country, investors, and industry representatives on Sunday, Jan. 9th, to win three top titles and prizes:
•    Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000
•    Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, for a total of $20,000
•    People’s Choice Team selected by public vote, for an additional $5,000 (all 10 semi-finalist teams compete for this honor)

The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business faculty prior to competing at AFBF’s Convention. In addition, the top 10 semi-finalist teams will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and venture capital representatives from the USDA’s Rural Business Investment Companies. 

New York Farm Bureau offers its sincere thanks and wishes the best of luck and skill to Ethan and his Propagate Ventures team. We are all rooting for you!

Lindsay Wickham


Photo caption: Ethan Steinberg