RCBI contest to reward agricultural innovation

December 20, 2017

A contest sponsored by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) will help one lucky winner grow a successful agricultural product by providing more than $10,000 in business assistance.

Agricultural innovators across the state will compete as part of the West Virginia Vanguard Agriculture Design Competition – the fourth-annual contest that recognizes innovation and ingenuity in agriculture by honoring an entrepreneur whose product has the greatest potential to solve logistical challenges in the local food supply chain. Past winners include a GPS livestock tracker, an online farm-to-table meal planner and a system to manufacture environmentally friendly packaging from mushroom spores.

This year’s winner will receive assistance with product design and development; logo creation and marketing; patent, trademark and copyright applications; business development planning; funding opportunities; and business incubator space. West Virginia residents – including students of all ages – as well as out-of-state residents enrolled in West Virginia colleges and universities are eligible to compete.

Innovators should apply online at www.rcbi.org/go/vanguard. Entries must be received by 3 p.m. January 26, 2018. The winner will be announced in February at the 2018 West Virginia Small Farms Conference in Morgantown.

The contest is an ongoing component of RCBI’s Agricultural Innovations initiative to improve opportunities for West Virginia’s farming and agricultural economy. Major funding is provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. For more information, contact Bill Woodrum at 304.781.1670 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .