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

Categories : Recognition & Awards, Research Park
Posted on: January 12, 2022

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

CHAMPAIGN – Nominations are now being accepted for the second 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 15, 2022.

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 9, 2022.

“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 productivity/efficiency of farmers; new applications of technology; unique business ventures; and creating new agricultural opportunities, such as new crops or new food production systems.

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

Fifth-generation farmer Will Glazik of Paxton, IL was named the inaugural recipient of the Glen “GB” Brandt Prize for Ag Entrepreneurism in March 2021. Glazik’s nominators cited his ag business creativity, writing: “[He is] fearless in trying out new innovations in production methods, marketing and new product creation.” (See the full story HERE.)

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.


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 to learn and share knowledge about the current state of agtech and get a looking 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]