Our Mission

The mission of the agBOT Challenge is to drive innovative and collaborative efforts in automating agricultural processes.

Agricultural trailblazing through technological innovations

By the year 2050, we will have a global population of 9 billion, requiring increased efficiency in our food production and better utilization of resources. While there have been enormous advances in agriculture since the days of crude plows pulled by animals, developing the means to more efficiently plant seeds and provide husbandry to crops is imperative for greater sustainability in a depleting world of farming circles.

The agBOT Challenge aims to inspire the development of autonomous farming tools and technologies that will decrease the volume of labor needed, making farming faster and more accurate.

About the agBOT Challenge

The agBOT challenge was founded by Steve Gerrish and his daughter Rachel Gerrish at the family farm in Rockville, IN. Founded in 2015, the agBOT challenge was designed to highlight how cutting-edge technologies can advance the agricultural industry – highlighting what is possible when high-speed internet reaches the fields. The event quickly outgrew the farm and a new location was needed. Beginning in 2019, the agBOT Challenge will be co-hosted with Purdue University at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The agBOT Challenge aims to make an impact on educational systems, research initiatives and innovative solutions for agriculture.

Education at Every Level


NextGen Expo – Students of all ages (K-12) are
encouraged to visit the grounds for an immersive STEM experience exploring

  • Industry leaders and STEM program educators bring interactive exhibits for attendees to learn and engage.
  • Elementary, Middle and High school level students are offered the opportunity to use VEX robotics to compete in a skills challenge designed to simulate an agricultural task.
  • Team tours are offered by volunteer staff, providing attendees an introduction to agBOT Challenge competitors, universities and entrepreneurs, from around the world

Higher Education and Entrepreneurship

Competitions: Universities and entrepreneurs entered into the competitions gain valuable, collaborative training opportunities from industry leaders, specialists and researchers dedicated to different solutions for their agBOT development.

Agtech supporters

Events – Industry leaders, farmers, investors, researchers, and the general public have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest advancements being made in agtech.

  • Attendees witness machines, software and tools capable of real-time data capture, analysis and action
  • Discussions on market impact, labor supply and training, rural broadband solutions, environmental impact, commercialization opportunities, etc.

Driving Collaborative Research and Innovative Solutions

Different challenges are set each year, engaging teams to automate solutions in agriculture. Teams are recruited from various universities and areas around the world. In forming teams, members are coached to collaborate and recruit additional help from various industries such as farm management, agronomy, robotics, drones, crop production, soil health, engineering, botany, software, computer science, artificial intelligence, weed science, machine learning, rural broadband and more.



  • development of an unmanned crop seeder


  • development of an unmanned crop seeder
  • creation of an automated weed identification and eradication system and fertilizer application


  • creation of automated weed identification and eradication system and fertilizer application
  • development of automated watermelon harvest machine


  • creation of an automated weed identification and eradication system and fertilizer application
  • development of autonomous soil diagnostics to collect and prepare soil samples for evaluation