For immediate release
Aug. 14, 2023

HARTLAND, Vt. — Today, the CORI Innovation Fund II (CIF II) announced an investment in Barn Owl Precision Agriculture (BOPA). Based in La Junta, Colorado, BOPA offers “Farm Robots as a Service” for small and mid-size farms to create time and budget savings while implementing regenerative farming practices. CIF II is a venture fund that invests in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and economic growth in small towns across America.

The current BOPA funding round is led by Colorado-based FirstMile Ventures.

BOPA logoBOPA has developed Autonomous Nano Tractors (ANTs), which the company offers as a paid service to small and mid-size growers to replace expensive and scarce farm labor. The company is currently focused on drone imaging and weeding, and both services are designed to handle work that would otherwise require significant manual labor. BOPA’s solution provides both time and cost savings to growers putting decision making into operators’ hands and replacing the need for hand-weeding. 

BOPA continues to develop additional functionality for the ANTs including spraying, planting, and soil measurement. Ultimately, BOPA’s technology aims to create efficiencies within farm operations with more positive environmental outcomes than traditional methods. These effects will increase farmers’ bottom lines through higher margins, healthier soil, and new revenue streams.

“This additional funding will help us expand our offerings to service the backlog of farm acreage we have developed over the course of this growing season,” said Sarah Hinkley, BOPA’s CEO. “Our local farm communities are facing significant challenges, and we are excited to be able to offer our technology to address those needs here in Colorado and beyond.”

“BOPA’s team has leveraged their deep farming expertise to create an offering that supports an overlooked segment of agricultural producers: the small to mid-size farm,” said Jay Bockhaus, managing partner of CIF II. “The company’s technology is addressing the problem of severe farm labor shortages in an increasingly difficult operating environment, and we are pleased to support Sarah and her team as they scale their business to improve farm outcomes across the country.” 

About Barn Owl Precision Agriculture (BOPA)

Barn Owl Precision Agriculture was founded in 2017. After moving back home to La Junta, Colorado, the company reconnected with the local community and saw the challenges facing small and mid-size farmers. BOPA provides solutions to these challenges by combining drone imagery with autonomous nano tractors (ANTs) to take action and create savings in inputs, labor, and time. Learn more at https://www.barnowlag.com/

About the CORI Innovation Fund

The CORI Innovation Fund II (CIF II) invests in scalable technology startups in the United States to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities. CIF II seeks out attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies that are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions and identifies, funds, and supports the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer. For more information visit http://www.corifund.com.

About the Center on Rural Innovation

The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is a national nonprofit committed to advancing economic prosperity in rural America through the creation of inclusive tech economy ecosystems that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation. Established in 2017, CORI is at the heart of a dynamic social enterprise focused on closing the rural opportunity gap. To maximize all possible resources to address this critical problem, the organization partners with a taxable nonprofit, Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), and a seed fund, CORI Innovation Fund (CIF), focused on early-stage technology companies located in rural areas. For more information visit www.ruralinnovation.us.


Contact: Austin Danforth
Center on Rural Innovation (CORI)