Nebraska Power Farming Show

Attendees at last year's Nebraska Power Farming Show check out equipment on display at the Lancaster Event Center. This year's show will feature a pitch contest for agricultural-related startups.

The 2018 Nebraska Power Farming Show will have a bit of a startup vibe.

New this year at the country's second-largest indoor farm show will be a pitch contest for agricultural-based startups.

Six Midwestern-based agtech companies, including two from Lincoln and another from elsewhere in Nebraska, will compete for a $20,000 prize during the show, which takes place Dec. 4-6 at the Lancaster Event Center.

There also will be a "People's Choice" winner, chosen by an audience vote via text, that will get $5,000.

Though the contest is new to the Nebraska Power Farming Show, this is actually the second time it's been held.

A similar pitch contest was held at the Iowa Power Farming Show in Des Moines in January, with the $20,000 prize being claimed by North Dakota software company Myriad Mobile.

The pitch contest was conceived by Omaha-based Farm Credit Services of America, which is one of the main sponsors of the Power Farming Shows.

David Martin, chief strategy officer for FCSAmerica, said the goal of the contest is to get exposure for the startup companies as well as potentially provide solutions to farmers and ranchers.

FCSAmerica, a nonprofit lending cooperative that's part of the federal Farm Credit System, also is looking for data points to use in its Magnify software, a farm management tool that seeks to save ag producers money.

Martin said FCSAmerica signed an agreement with the Iowa pitch competition owner Myriad Mobile to incorporate its data.

He said the Iowa competition went very well and he's expecting similar success for the Nebraska one. FCSAmerica is hoping to continue the contest at future shows.

"We'd like it to kind of be an annual event," Martin said.

The Nebraska contest will take place at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 in Pavilion 2 East at the Event Center.

The six companies chosen to compete are:

* Quantifed Ag, a Lincoln-based company that uses a smart cattle ear tag to track movement, health and other information.

* ChorChek, an app that helps livestock producers manage their daily tasks by streamlining processes and data collection. The company was founded by University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate Lucas Fricke and is based in Ulysses.

* FarmAfield, a Lincoln-based agriculture investment platform where commodities can be bought and sold.

* Farmland Finder, an Iowa-based online search engine and marketplace for agricultural real estate.

* HitchPin, a Kansas-based startup that connects farmers who need services or products to people and businesses that can provide them.

* Tillable, an Illinois-based digital marketplace for connecting landowners and growers.

For more information about the Power Farming Show or the pitch contest, go to: www.nebraskapowershow.com.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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