Soy Innovation Challenge winners focus on sustainability, nutrition

Seven ag-tech startups are among the finalists in the United Soybean Board’s Soy Innovation Challenge. The $100,000 winner – Anastasia Volkova – founded Regrow. The company makes it possible for farmers to monetize soil health practices.

“Effectively we’re looking at the two buckets,” said Volkova, during a Commodity Classic news conference. “Either it’s a premium for the commodity that’s been submitted to the processor, or it’s the carbon market. Those currently are the two things that pay for sustainability.”

There’s a good relationship in farmers wanting to adopt soil health practices and being interested in the value of carbon credits, said Volkova.

“They want to be adopting good soil health practices; they’re first and foremost interested in those,” she said. “And of course they want to be paid for adopting those, because sustainability is good business.”

The other winners are Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, 1st Runner-Up awarded $60,000. The company launched a national ecosystem services market to provide farmers with compensation for the economic and social benefits from their land stewardship practices.

SoilMetrics was 2nd Runner-Up and awarded $40,000. It provides software services for farmers to understand current greenhouse gas emissions and evaluate options for reducing them.

Genesis Feed Technologies was 3rd Runner-Up and awarded $20,000. It’s a platform that increases the market value of U.S. soybeans across the supply chain by revealing the economic impact of their high-quality nutritional profile.

The winners spoke at a news conference during the virtual edition of Commodity Classic.

AUDIO: Soy Innovation Challenge news conference

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