NORDEF, the winner of the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, developed technology to produce diesel exhaust fluid at the point of use. NORDEF’s William Walls says winning the competition will help his company reach the marketplace.
“Just the awareness of our product and that we exist. That’s been wonderful. But the money is also really nice and it’s going to get us to production. We already have some prototype units out there, we’re working with some universities in the Kansas City metro area helping us get through that product validation. And this $50,000 will get us to some commercialization.”
Walls says the competition was a great learning experience for his company.
“The competition process has been great. We got to spend some time with Cornell University and some professors who helped us strengthen our elevator pitch. But the exposure again, the relationships, the networking, has been wonderful. And we’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people who have only validated our idea and our business model.”
EmGenisys Inc. was named runner-up in the contest and received a total of $20,000. Finalist MycoLogic LLC won the People’s Choice Award, and finalist ChopLocal also competed in the final four. Walls encourages others to apply for the next competition.
“Oh, I would say don’t stop. I would absolutely say, if you think you have something, then do it. It takes a lot of just blind faith in starting a business in general, but especially in competitions like this. The application period was almost a year ago. It’s a very lengthy process. But stick with it, see it through. Whatever your idea is, absolutely try it.”
Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank and Farm Bureau Financial Services support the Ag Innovation Challenge. AFBF is accepting applications now for the 2024 competition. Learn more at fb.org/challenge.