Anvil Metals, SMART Reproduction win Arkansas Ag Innovation Challenge awards

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 592 views 

Anvil Metals and Fabrication (AMF) was the winner of the Arkansas Ag Innovation Challenge at Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 89th annual convention in Little Rock. In addition to winning the overall competition, AMF was voted as the People’s Choice Award winner for its presentation during the event’s trade show.

AMF was founded in 2022 by Rob Conner, Cody Marquis and Damian Schilling after Conner and his wife purchased a welding shop in Gassville. Conner volunteers as the career technical education coordinator for Mountain Home Public Schools and his two co-founders are former students turned business partners. The AMF team patented a tractor bucket attachment with folding forks, hay spikes, brush guards and other tools for use on farms and in rural areas.

“Winning this award is a meaningful step in our journey to build and manufacture the tools and equipment that save farmers time and make their work safer,” said Conner. “The validation we heard at the Arkansas Farm Bureau convention confirmed we’re on the right track to make an impact for our customers.”

SMART Reproduction, owned and operated by Brittany Scott of Jonesboro, was named runner-up in the competition. The biotech company collects and cryopreserves small ruminant semen and embryos for export, and were the first exporter of its kind to hold United Kingdom and European Union export certification.

Three other finalists were recognized during the convention: HM Mobile Welding and Fabrication of Vilonia, CelluDot of Fayetteville and Cureate of Fayetteville.

ArFB launched the Ag Innovation Challenge earlier this year in partnership with the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. The statewide business competition showcases Arkansas startups developing innovative solutions to address challenges facing Arkansas farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

Cash prizes totaled $15,000 with Anvil Metals and Fabrication receiving $10,000 in total and SMART Reproduction earning $5,000.