INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2020) – AgriNovus Indiana, an initiative to fuel growth in Indiana’s agbioscience economy, launched the state’s first agtech innovation challenge today, bringing together leaders in production agriculture and technology to fuel innovation.

Presented by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge is designed to create new solutions that solve critical gaps in farm management software defined by a panel of three progressive Indiana farmers. The defined gaps will serve as the foundation for the Challenge that gives Indiana innovators until Dec. 4, 2020, to submit a proof of concept that could earn participants a $25,000 grand prize from the Purdue Foundry.

“Indiana is a proven leader in production agriculture and software innovation,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “The Producer-Led Innovation Challenge provides a powerful platform for innovators and farmers to work together to make it faster, easier and more efficient to manage the digital demands of modern farming operations.”Companies, individuals and entrepreneurs who want to participate in the Challenge can access technical information, Challenge rules and register to participate online at Registration ends Sept. 25.“The farm economy is facing extended periods of economic pressure,” said Courtney Kingery, CEO of Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance. “This is a unique opportunity to bring together innovators and producers with the goal of improving farm income through software. The challenges are defined by farmers and judged by farmers. They are the ones who will decide which of the software solutions being proposed most efficiently and effectively address one of the producer-defined challenges. The farmer connection is what sets this innovation challenge apart from the rest.”

The Producer-Led Innovation Challenge is designed to create new solutions that solve these critical gaps in farm management software. The winning solution will:

  1. Reduce manual data entry (typically conducted in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or similar) by automating the aggregation of data from farm operation systems;
  2. Make it possible to quickly validate data quality (examples: field-level information, seed inventory, accounting entries, etc.);
  3. Automate alert notifications based on farmer-defined standards and user roles; and
  4. Visualize data to quickly and easily make informed decisions.

Once registered, participants will have access to a panel of Indiana farmers and agbioscience advisors to guide innovation, ensure integration with existing systems and validate real-world application of proposed solutions. Final submissions are due Dec. 4, 2020, and the winner will be announced Dec. 12, 2020, at the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention.

The three-person Indiana producer panel defining the challenge is:

  • Anngie Steinbarger, Edinburgh
  • Jake Walker, Waterloo
  • Jake Smoker, Wanatah

To learn more about the program, visit

About AgriNovus Indiana 

AgriNovus Indiana is the state’s initiative focused on advancing the agbiosciences sector as a nationally recognized leader through education, research and talent development; strategic collaborations among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies; and branding and targeted promotions to elevate the sector. AgriNovus Indiana is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To learn more about AgriNovus Indiana, visit

About Indiana Corn Marketing Council

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interests of corn growers in the state and manage corn checkoff funds. The Council is composed of 17 voting farmer directors and seven appointed industry and government representatives who direct investments of corn checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana corn farmers. The ICMC works to build new markets for corn through the promotion of grain marketing, livestock, production research, ethanol and environmental programs. Learn more at

About Indiana Soybean Alliance
The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff fund. The ISA works to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, grain marketing, aquaculture, new soybean uses and research. ISA is led by an elected, farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers.