The Mission: Integrate innovative technologies to improve observation, intervention, analytic and data storage in agriculture work methods.
Gerrish Farms in Rockville, Indiana, is a Hoosier Centennial Farm, established in 1904. It is host to the agBOT Challenge and Alpha Site for airBridge, llc. Gerrish Farms produces grain crops, Angus beef, fruits and honey. It also maintains three aquaculture systems.
airBridge, llc is a company focused on providing agriculture communications solutions to farmers and rural areas by integrating innovative technologies to improve observation, intervention, analysis and data storage in agriculture work methods. airBridge designs and provides ultra-high speed internet communication infrastructure for mobile and static environments.
Co-Founders and Event Team
Steven R. Gerrish is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the agBOT Challenge. Steve also provides executive leadership as Chief Executive Officer for airBridge, LLC. Steven is also the Founder/Managing Partner of Apex One Equity, LLC. Fund One, Two, and Three. Apex recruits original management teams to partner with inventors to form the new entities. He is an active Board of Director and Manager on eight portfolio companies.
Prior to forming Apex, Steven was Director of Business Development at Purdue Research Foundation. His role was to accelerate the development of new startups with rapid growth opportunities surrounding Purdue University-developed technologies. During his tenure, he started the Technology Road Shows and Business maker process.
Additionally, Steven currently manages Gerrish Farms the family Hoosier Centennial Farm. He raises cash grain crops, forages, an Angus cow operation, small fruit and nut orchards, and three aquaculture systems. Steven has been an inventor in numerous agricultural patents and has created several new plant varieties. Gerrish Farms is an alpha site for airBridge’s high speed internet site for rural broadband and agriculture robotics. Steven has Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture with Graduate work in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Purdue University.
Rachel Gerrish is the Co-Founder and Senior Executive Producer of the agBOT Challenge. Rachel is the Chief Operating Officer for airBridge, llc, managing strategic development and executive operations. She has specialized in project management as a business strategist, primarily serving the industries of technology, healthcare, education and venture fund management. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Lawrence University in Psychology and Anthropology and Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Ashley Herrera is Co-Founder and Financial Administrator of the agBOT Challenge. Ashley is the Chief Financial Officer for airBridge, llc, providing oversight of finance and administrative operations. Her background includes financial management for the Austin, Texas based Lucena Group, a global securities firm; the Los Angeles, California based Security Industry Specialists; and, the MKR Group in Los Angeles, where she specialized in Investor Relations. Ms. Herrera is a native Hoosier from Greencastle. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Hanover College.
Cara McCauley is the Weed Science Technical Advisor for the agBOT Challenge. Cara is a Ph.D. student in weed science at Purdue University studying the effect of different auxin herbicides on glyphosate-resistant marestail. Her project includes field and greenhouse work to examine the influence of weed height on herbicide efficacy as well as next-generation RNA sequencing to look at gene expression differences. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering and Plant Science from Cornell University and hopes to graduate from Purdue with her Ph.D. in 2018
Del Smyser: Broadband Systems Technical Manager
Greg Renz: Financial Analyst
The agBOT Challenge team values the relationships we have with local, statewide, national and international organizations which help to make our mission possible.