Illinoisan semi-finalist in AFBF Ag Innovation Challenge
An Illinois firm was named one of 10 semi-finalists in the 2023 Ag Innovation Challenge by the American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Credit.
Based in Oak Park, TrackerSled began as a response to a challenge posed by an international energy company struggling to gain public acceptance of its utility-scale solar farms in the Midwest. Lawrence Kearns, the team lead, began to develop a turnkey solution for farmers so they could own the energy-producing assets and increase their profitability. Visit trackersled.com.
As a semi-finalist, TrackerSled will be awarded $10,000.
“The future of agriculture depends on innovative solutions to the challenges that we’re facing today,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a statement. “The entrepreneurs behind the start-up companies we’re recognizing are committed to helping rural communities and supporting farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on.”
The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture.
In addition to TrackerSled, the other semi-finalists are: Atlantic Aquaculture Technologies, Massachusetts; Emgenisys Inc., Texas; Hennen Pig Chute, Minnesota; MycoLogic LLC, Georgia; NORDEF, Kansas; ReEnvision Ag, Iowa; Symbrosia, Hawaii; TreadSure, Nebraska; and Vence, California.
The 10 semi-finalists will compete at the AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jan. 6, to advance to the final round where four finalists will receive an additional $5,000. The final competition will be live Jan. 8 before Farm Bureau members, investors and industry. They will compete to win three top prizes and titles:
• $50,000 as Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Winner,
• $20,000 as Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, and
• $5,000 as People’s Choice Team selected by public vote of the 10 semi-finalists.
For more about the Ag Innovation Challenge, visit fb.org/challenge.