Competitors and judges react to the announcement of the winning teams in the College of Agricultural Sciences’ 2021 Ag Springboard business pitch contest. A pair of recent graduates planning to manufacture and sell crop row covers made of hemp fiber won the top prize of $7,500 to support their venture.
IMAGE: COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A pair of recent Penn State graduates planning to manufacture and sell crop row covers made of hemp fiber — instead of the typical plastic — won $7,500 toward their venture in the College of Agricultural Sciences’ 2021 Ag Springboard student business pitch contest.
Louis Waryanka and Sam Hackman competed as Irwin Innovation Group. They pitched their plan to produce and sell a row cover made of biodegradable fiber from hemp that sequesters carbon as it grows, helping to solve the problem of 11 billion square feet of damaged plastic row covers annually discarded by vegetable growers.