American Farm Bureau Foundation
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and GSEI partnered to help strengthen rural America. The collaboration worked towards building greater economic opportunity and security for those who live in rural communities and involved the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative to advance rural entrepreneurship.
“It’s often said that farmers are this country’s original entrepreneurs,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Our partnership with Georgetown is dedicated to giving them and other leaders in rural communities nationwide both a forum and the practical means to brainstorm, strategize and bring their inspirations to fruition and, ultimately, strengthen their communities.”
GSEI, the Entrepreneurship Initiative, and AFBF kicked off the collaboration at the AFBF 2014 annual convention in San Antonio with remarks by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and AFBF President Bob Stallman. Vilsack credited the effort as a private, collaborative way to help spur entrepreneurial spirit that will lead to small business creation in rural America.
Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge
A key component of this collaboration was the inaugural Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. The first-of-its-kind challenge provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations being cultivated in rural regions of the United States.
Kicking off in September 2014, the AFBF, GSEI and GEI jointly assessed applications before narrowing the field to 10 semi-finalists. Those semi-finalists then pitched their business ideas to the joint team before being culled to only four finalists who pitched a panel of judges at the AFBF 96th Annual Convention in San Diego, California in January 2015. Ultimately, from those four Scoutpro of Lone Tree, Iowa, a software assisting farmers with crop maintenance prevailed receiving $30,000 in prize money. Also receiving a cash prize was people’s choice favorite Pasturebird of Temecula, California which provides a cost-effective method of producing pastured poultry on a large scale.
Inaugural Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge Launched
July 24, 2014
Scoutpro of Iowa Named Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneur of the Year
January 13, 2015
Can Rural America be Saved? A New National ‘Challenge’ tries to see
By Libby Sander, the Washington Post | March 27, 2015