Cash Award Recognizes Young Farmer Entrepreneurs 



 Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest grassroots farm organization, encourages young farmer entrepreneurs between 18-35 years old with an ag-related business to enter the Grow Your Future Award for a chance to win $7,500. This competition is focused on Farm Bureau members with enterprises that tap into niche production, agritourism and specialty services.

            “The Grow Your Future Award was created by the IFBF young farmer committee who understand the need to diversify and can appreciate the challenges that come with efforts to bring additional income to the farm,” says Amanda Van Steenwyk, Iowa Farm Bureau’s farm business development manager.  

            Interested entrepreneurs should apply at by Sept. 1. Up to ten applicants will be selected and narrowed down by public vote. The top finalists will compete in a live pitch-off during the 2024 Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference on Feb. 2, 2024. Winners will be announced Feb. 3.

First, second and third place finalists will receive $7,500, $5000 and $2,500, respectively. Last year’s Grow Your Future Award winner was a mushroom grower who used his winnings to purchase a delivery van and walk-in cooler.

In addition to the Grow Your Future Award, Iowa Farm Bureau has a rich history of supporting rural entrepreneurs.  One example is through the Renew Rural Iowa program, mentoring nearly 4,000 rural entrepreneurs and business owners while creating more than $150 million in economic impact for rural Iowa communities,” says Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson.  “The Grow Your Future Award is just one more way to highlight innovation and support rural entrepreneurs. The crop of applicants we get are equally diverse and impressive, ranging from cricket farmers to cover crop seed dealers, but the common thread is a vision and willingness to explore unconventional avenues in farming that make Iowa agriculture and our rural communities even stronger.”