Informational Sessions, Workshop Scheduled to Discuss Ag Innovation Prize

East Campus pillars at enterance

Oct. 15, 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. — It's being called the largest student-focused competition of agriculture in the world, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program wants to be sure UNL and Nebraskans compete.

The grand prize: a cool $100,000.

And that's not all; there also are four final prizes available – worth $25,000 each, an audience favorite prize for $15,000 and feedback from world-renowned judges.

The Ag Innovation Prize, funded by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, is seeking entries that will improve agriculture to change the world. They are looking for improvements in land access, suitability and soil; agricultural production; distribution and aggregation; food processing and manufacturing; preparation – consumer and institutional; and resource and waste recovery.

Entries are due Feb. 28, 2014. It includes online submission of a two-page business/idea summary and a 10 slide deck of the business/idea summary. More information about the competition and submission requirements is available at

 To help answer questions about the prize, three informational sessions are available:

– Oct. 23, 3-4 p.m., Sycamore Room, Nebraska East Union, UNL East Campus

– Oct. 23, 7-8 p.m., Pewter Room, Nebraska Union, UNL City Campus

– Oct. 25, Noon-1 p.m., Sycamore Room, Nebraska East Union, UNL East Campus

In addition, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program will host an Innovation Night from 6-9 p.m. in the Great Plains Room at the Nebraska East Union on UNL's East Campus on Oct. 30.

During this session, participants can brainstorm ideas and concepts, meet potential team members, create momentum and establish steps to move forward toward award submission, said Tom Field, director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program.

Field said the sessions are not only open to students, but anyone interested in ag innovation. Each team only needs to be made up of 50 percent students.

"We want to make people aware of this opportunity so they can come up with ideas that transform ag and food systems in the world," he said. "The goal is to impact the food system, and we hope teams will take a multidisciplinary approach with a global focus."

Also, teams need not be made before coming to one of the sessions. Individuals that have an idea are encouraged to come to the sessions, where perhaps they can find others to work with.

For more information about the efforts at UNL, contact Field at

Tom Field, Ph.D.
Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program

Sandi Alswager Karstens
IANR News Service

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