AgriNovus Indiana announces winner of 2021 Producer-Led Innovation Challenge

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INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 22, 2021) — AgriNovus Indiana, an initiative focused on growing Indiana’s agbioscience economy, today announced Regrow from Durhman, N.H. as the winning team of its Producer-Led Innovation Challenge, awarding them $25,000 provided by Purdue Foundry as well as professional services from The PLAID Agency and Sikich LLP.

The Producer-Led Innovation Challenge, presented by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance, was designed to inspire innovators to create software that makes it faster for farmers to aggregate complex data sets required to participate in Carbon markets, where companies purchase credits from farming operations that sequester Carbon. From tech startups to student teams, participants worked to create a solution that accomplished the following objectives:

  • Ability to integrate years of multiple data sources from across farm operations to create a market-ready data set with minimal farmer manual data entry, as defined by existing Carbon market companies; and
  • Provides a “good” and a “best” option that enables farmers to use field-level data from modern machinery (“best”) and aggregated farm operations data and publicly available data (climate, soil, farm-level yield, etc.) (“good”).

“Working with progressive Indiana producers, AgriNovus identified data management was among the top challenges preventing Indiana farmers from participating in emerging Carbon markets,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “As this year’s Producer-Led Innovation Challenge winner, Regrow’s solution gets farmers miles closer to a faster, easier and less manual solution to simplify participation in Carbon markets.”

Regrow’s Challenge team includes Anastasia Volkova, Manal Elarab, Liz Haney, Jacob Penner and Sarah Varble. Their solution is an independent measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) tool that uses scientifically vetted crop and soil models, connectivity to farm management platforms and satellite imagery to create an agronomically-based platform with the transparency of a fair, trustworthy market for Carbon. The first versions of this solution are already facilitating transactions between farmers and credit buyers.

“The Producer-Led Innovation Challenge allowed us to better understand Indiana producers and the nuanced problems they face with carbon markets,” said Manal Elarab, global head of business and product development at Regrow. “With this knowledge, we found ways to provide a solution to their problem, rather than a problem looking for a solution. We are honored to be recognized as innovators in this space, and we look forward to continued progress in the industry.”

While more than 95% of Indiana farmers report they are not currently participating in a Carbon market, 67% plan to in the future, according to a June 2021 survey of Indiana producers conducted by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance. Producers completing the survey identified that the most critical requirement for Carbon markets in the future is simplicity – the ability to use existing data to document farm management practices and processes.

“Entry into Carbon markets is a complex process requiring verification of data that isn’t always accessible to farmers,” said Paul Hodgen, director at the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and a Putnam County farmer. “Creating a solution that allows for entry into these markets at different points based on an operation’s available data, allows for more transparency and participation going forward.”

To learn more about the 2021 Producer-Led Innovation Challenge and the winning team, Regrow, click here.

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 www.agrinovusindiana.com.

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 www.incorn.org.

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. Visit www.indianasoybean.com for more information.

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