Roads Worth Taking are Often Bumpy but Worth the Effort
I began Future Farm AgriTech in February of 2021 with the objective of improving the agricultural industry and, as a result, enhancing the quality of the food we consume. My vision is not only to benefit large commercial farms that generate significant profits annually, but also to support those farms in our local communities. It may surprise you to learn that there are currently over 500 million family farms worldwide, which collectively provide more than 56 percent of our food, feed, and fiber (Popescu Slavikova, 2019). Furthermore, a recent study conducted by the USDA revealed that 89% of vegetables are grown by small- and medium-sized farms. This is why the primary goal of Future Farm AgriTech is to offer efficient solutions that reduce costs and increase yields, making it easier for small-scale farmers to manage their land and pass their livelihoods on to future generations. However, starting this company has not been an easy journey for me. In just a few months, my life took a drastic turn for the worse and plunged into darkness. I was found unconscious by strangers and taken to the hospital as an unidentified individual. Hours later, I regained consciousness in the hospital, completely unaware of what had occurred. Thankfully, my family eventually found me based on the description provided. In the past year and a half, I have faced eight setbacks, with seven of them resulting in hospitalizations. Despite these challenges, I have finally recovered well enough to apply for my provisional patent and have hit the ground running. Recently, I discovered that I may be eligible to receive grants from the National Science Foundation and USDA, and I am planning to apply for them this August with the assistance of nonprofit grant services. I have already assembled a scientific Board of Advisors and am currently working on securing laboratory space and interns. Additionally, I have joined local tech associations and attended a notable event at the governor's mansion this year. Growing this business has been incredibly difficult due to my accident, setbacks, and medical expenses. However, I have persevered because I possess a deep passion, unwavering determination, and boundless energy. I firmly believe that this cause is worth fighting for. I have pushed through broken bones, damage to my right temporal lobe, memory issues, seizures, and immense pain, all because I know that Future Farm AgriTech will facilitate positive change and create a brighter future for farmers and all those who depend on them. In May of 2023, I participated in a competition against various entrepreneurial companies from across North Carolina. I had the opportunity to present and demonstrate my product to the NC tech association, and to my delight, I was chosen as one of five finalists. If selected, this opportunity would provide me with a team of investors to propel my company forward. Every day, my company continues to thrive and flourish.
Lisa York, My Journey