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Agriculture has brought us a long way in the last several thousand years. You think it’s about time we returned the favor? Well, it looks like 30 finalists in the Agricultural Innovation Prize have done just that. These teams will present their proposals to a panel of judges at the end of the month and we had a few questions about the prizes, competition and their amazing finalists. Check it out: 

#HeroX: First of all, congratulations for having 30 teams around the country participating in the Agricultural Innovation Prize this year! Rumor is you are awarding 1 of the 30 teams with an audience choice prize of $15,000 in cash! How can people vote for their favorite challenge entries?

#AgPrize: That’s right! Our judges have selected the top 30 semifinalists in this year’s challenge, and now everyone can vote for the entry they believe will have the biggest impact in agriculture or food systems. The entry with the most votes by the close of the competition will win a $15,000 cash prize for their idea being the crowd’s favorite.  You can vote through our Facebook page. You can vote once per day until April 24th.

#HeroX: That’s incredible. So tell us about the over $200,000 in cash prizes! That can buy a lot of books, canned soup and long distance plans to call mom & dad! 

#AgPrize: We are proud to offer $240,000 in cash to winning teams. We are actually offering the largest cash prizes awarded in any student contest focused on agricultural worldwide. Also, the 30 semifinalist teams will receive $1,000 travel and presentation material stipend to appear in Madison, WI for the final round of the competition.  Our grand prize winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize and the teams that place 2-6 will receive $25,000 finalist prizes.

#HeroX: Where can we find more information on these awesome #AgPrize teams?

#AgPrize: You can find out about each entry on our website’s “Get engaged” page. 

#HeroX:  When are you announcing the winners of the #AgPrize?

#AgPrize: The Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation are hosting a public event to announce the winners of the Agricultural Innovation Prize: Powered by 40 Chances.  It’s a two day event on April 25th & 26th in Madison, WI.

#HeroX: Two day event? How will the winners be selected?

#AgPrize: The first day, the top 30 teams will present proposals for judging, with 6 teams selected as finalists for the next day. The second day, the top 6 teams will give in-depth presentations for judges and the public. We will find out who our winner is on day 2 and the top team will be awarded their cash prizes to help support their amazing business ideas.

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#HeroX: Awesome. Where is this event being held and are members of the public welcome both days?

#AgPrize:  This free event will take place at Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery building on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. The public is absolutely welcome to attend both days. But you definitely won’t want to miss the final 6 presentations! Join our Facebook event and see us there!

#HeroX: For those of us not able to attend, how can we follow all the excitement?

#AgPrize: You can follow us on Twitter, follow the hashtag #AgPrize and follow our action on Facebook.

Congratulations to the #AgPrize finalists! And good luck in the last leg of the challenge, you are all inspirational leaders to us! 

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