Nebraska Farm Bureau congratulates Ryan and Austin Stauffer of Seward County and Martin Bremmer of Perkins County for being selected as finalists for the 2016 American Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge.
“There were a total of 10 teams selected for the 2017 Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge, four finalists and six semi-finalist,” Audrey Smith, director of youth, collegiate & young leader programs said. “This is a great way to provide opportunities for individuals to showcase business innovations being developed in rural regions of the U.S. It is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs developing food and agriculture businesses,” she said.
Ryan and Austin Stauffer’s business is called Levrack, a storage system that came out of a need for storage on their farm in Seward. The versatile storage system is sturdy enough for the farm and sleek enough for home use.
Martin Bremmer’s business is called Windcall Manufacturing, Inc., which manufactures the GrainGoat, the smallest most efficient grain combine on the market. The GrainGoat is a hand-held harvester that collects, cleans, and calculates the moisture of small grains all within minutes.
According to Smith, entrepreneurs sent in 365 applications from across the nation. This is quite an accomplishment for the Nebraska teams and she is excited to see Nebraska entrepreneurs showcase their talents. Team Stauffer and Bremmer have been awarded $15,000 in startup funds.
“Rural entrepreneurs typically face unique challenges including limited options for startup funding, which Farm Bureau aims to address through the challenge. We would love to see more entries from Nebraska. Farm Bureau is focused on elevating rural entrepreneurs, their ideas, and their skills to make good things happen,” Smith said.
In January, both Nebraska team members will also attend and compete during the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, for a chance to win an additional $15,000 in prize money, courtesy of sponsor Farm Bureau Bank. After the live-streamed event, members of the public will be invited to vote online for the People’s Choice Award, which gives an additional $10,000 in start-up funds.