USDA Secretary Perdue Meets AgLaunch Startups at Mid-South Farm and Gin Show

Fifteen companies showcased in second AgLaunch Startup Station at 2018 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (March 7, 2018) —

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue met with three AgLaunch startup companies as part of the AgLaunch Startup Station weekend held as part of the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show at the Cook Convention Center. Secretary Perdue attended the Farm and Gin Show to announce a new cost share program for cotton producers.

Rantizo, a recent graduate of the AgLaunch365 programming, was the overall winner for the event and will receive an all-expense paid trip and dedicated spot to pitch at the 2018 Farm Journal AgTech Expo in Indianapolis. 

“We were able to meet farmers and investors interested in our drone spraying technology. Their feedback and enthusiasm was incredibly valuable,” said Rantizo founder and CEO, Michael Ott. “Rantizo is honored to win the pitch competition, especially considering the strength of all the other companies. Our team will take the momentum from the Farm and Gin Show and use it to build great products that address farmer’s needs.”

The Startup Station boasted fifteen of the most innovative agtech entrepreneurs from across the country to showcase how their ideas will shape the future of food and agriculture. These agtech entrepreneurs are addressing on-farm issues with real-world solutions like irrigation management, farm-level efficiencies, and autonomous equipment.
  • AgHelp is an app and wrap-around services helping ag workers find jobs and resources.
  • AgriSync is a communication platform connecting farmers with trusted experts.
  • EarthSense is developing ultra-compact autonomous robots that use machine-learning to monitor and manage problems in agriculture, specifically to identify weeds and chemical-free methods of reliably eradicating superweeds.
  • Global AgSmarte has developed SmarteRoot, an irrigation add-on that increases absorption of water and nutrients for crops to increase yields.
  • Harvest Yield is an electronic record-keeping system to ensure accurate invoicing for custom harvesters.
  • Hintech’s first product, the Decimator, addresses tire damage from corn stalks, stand establishment issues due to interference from root balls, and residue decomposition in no-till systems.
  • Kilimo provides a decision-support tool for irrigation management in agriculture by using satellite, climate, and on-site data.
  • Microbiometer is a quick test used to estimate the microbial biomass in soil in 10 minutes for 10 percent of the cost of a lab test. 
  • Newton RFID has created EquipassID, the world’s first read/write injectable RFID device to store vital regulatory and health information for horses.
  • Persistence Data Mining is developing a non-intrusive remote hyper-spectral soil analysis to service large tracks of open farmland.
  • Rabbit Tractors is building swarm-enabled, autonomous tractors that are approximately one-third the size and one-fourth the weight of normal tractors and spray rigs and capable of pulling implements as well as late-season spraying.
  • Rantizo is developing an electrostatic spraying system for targeted drone-based spraying.
  • Skycision rapidly identifies field stress through the analysis of aerial imagery.
  • Stable’N is a nitrification inhibitor process that utilizes electricity delivered into the soil by a retrofit to existing fertilizer application equipment.
  • SwineTech has developed a farrowing safety device to protect the health of piglets.

During two investment pitch sessions, entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel of farmers, investors, and agribusiness professionals representing the following organizations:

  • Growing Acres Farm
  • Indigo Ag
  • Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV
  • Mid-South Family Farms 
  • National Black Growers Council 
  • Ritter Agribusiness 
  • TechStars
  • YieldLab

About AgLaunch™
AgLaunch attracts, creates, and grows agtech startups, facilitates the development of new agriculture and food value-chains, and builds collaborative farmer networks in the Mid-South, with a commitment to intentional inclusion. AgLaunch is a joint initiative of Memphis Bioworks Foundation ( and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture ( AgLaunch365 is a farm-centric innovation platform for agriculture designed to calibrate support with the specific needs of agtech startups and the agricultural industry. AgLaunch365 is made possible through partnerships with Start Co., Tennessee Farm Bureau, Epicenter, Farm Journal Media, Archer Malmo, and Baker Donelson. 

Learn more:


Comments are closed.