UTIA Students Head to Finals in National Competition

UTIA graduate students, Austin Scott and Shawn Butler have placed in the top four in the Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge, a national competition for food and agricultural businesses. Their company, Farm Specific Technology, has developed a patent-pending technology that will more effectively terminate cover crops, therefore saving farmers money. As one of the top four teams, Scott and Butler will move on to the final round of competition, held in January.

The Farm Bureau Challenge focuses exclusively on rural entrepreneurs who are committed to helping rural communities. By placing in the top four, Farm Specific Technology received $15,000 in start-up funds. Scott and Butler will next travel to Orlando to compete in a 'Shark Tank' style final round, with the possibility of winning an additional $25,000.

Butler is pursuing his masters in Entomology and Plant Pathology. Scott is completing his masters in Plant Sciences. Both have worked as Graduate Research Assistants at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.

For more information about the Farm Bureau Challenge, see http://www.fb.org/newsroom/news_article/356/