Nominations sought for 2024 Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism

Categories : Investments, Research Park
Posted on: November 29, 2023

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and The BRANDT Foundation Prize Honors the Legacy of GB Brandt

CHAMPAIGN – Nominations are now being accepted for the fourth Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism, recognizing an Illinois farmer for their role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in the ag sector.

Established in 2021 to honor the memory of GB Brandt, a legendary figure in the field of Illinois agriculture, the $10,000 cash prize will be awarded to a nominee who exemplifies an entrepreneurial spirit and advances innovation through their business practices, crop growing processes, or product usage.

The nomination form is now open. The deadline for submission is February 1, 2024.

The prize is a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and The BRANDT Foundation. The winner will be announced and recognized at the AgTech Innovation Summit, an annual event produced by the University of Illinois Research Park, on March 5, 2024.

“GB was an extraordinary person who attacked life with optimism and built a global business from very humble roots,” said Rick Brandt, President of The BRANDT Foundation. “We’re looking to help someone who shares GB’s passion for ag, demonstrates a high level of creativity, and has a vision to change the future.”

Examples of possible innovations include (but are not limited to): working to increase the productivity of farmers; creative applications of technology; unique business ventures; and creating new agricultural opportunities, such as novel crops or food production systems.

Those eligible for the award include Illinois farmers, growers, and producers or those engaged with Illinois farmers, growers, and producers. Nominees should be connected with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and/or its affiliates, including University of Illinois Extension. A full list of eligibility criteria is available in the nomination form.

Eric Miller was the third annual recipient of the Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism in March 2023. Miller farms 400 acres in Piatt County, where he works extensively with University of Illinois researchers and has transitioned his farm into a dedicated crop production improvement site in the past eight years. Read the full story on the Research Park website.

The son of a farmer from Sangamon County, GB, along with his sister Evelyn, started the company that would become the global agribusiness known as BRANDT. He provided the vision and energy to imagine, build, and manage what today has 800 employees and sales in 81 countries. He died in 2020 at age 94.

Past Brandt Prize Winners

Eric Miller, 2023

Matt Riggs, 2022

Will Glazik, 2021

About The BRANDT Foundation

The BRANDT Foundation was established in 2012 as a philanthropic extension of BRANDT, Inc. The Brandt family has always stood with their communities and as their company grew, so did the opportunities to give back. The BRANDT Foundation offers donations, grants, and support to the farms, charities, and organizations in the areas where the company does business.

About the AgTech Innovation Summit

The AgTech Innovation Summit is an interactive conference where participants learn and share knowledge about the current state of AgTech and get a look into the future through dynamic panels, inspiring keynote presentations, and networking opportunities. It is produced by the University of Illinois Research Park in partnership with the College of ACES and the Office of Corporate Relations. One of the premier AgTech hubs in the nation, Champaign-Urbana is uniquely positioned to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and industry for learning, networking, and advancing this sector.


Karl Barnhart, The BRANDT Foundation, [email protected]
Laura Bleill, Research Park, [email protected]