Agriculture technology company OnFarm,a member of the Water, Energy & Technology Center at Fresno State, is one of eight finalists for the 2013 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The Feb. 6 award ceremony in San Francisco will honor the company that is developing the most promising agricultural solution using cloud, big data, analytics, mobile and social technologies.

Part of the judging is a People’s Choice Award, which OnFarm won in the North American competition. Voting for the global award is in progress ( and OnFarm is hoping for support from the Central Valley.

“I strongly encourage everyone to vote for OnFarm,” said Halle Petersen, director of the WET Center. “Not only will it be a win for OnFarm, but also for Fresno. It will definitely put our region on the map as a unique place for innovation and commercialization of technology in the ag sector.”

OnFarm, founded by 1990 Fresno State graduate Lance Donny, provides analytics and insights that can help farmers make better decisions about their crops. OnFarm’s intelligent dashboard provides tools and recommendations that help farmers save water, energy, labor and fertilizer while producing higher quality crops.

“I am very excited that one of our WET member companies is one of only two U.S. finalists in the competition,” Petersen said. “Founded and headquartered right here in Fresno, OnFarm has developed and commercialized what will be the gold standard in smart agriculture.”

Donny said the WET Center assisted his company in industry networking, developing speaking opportunities and promoting the company’s success.

“OnFarm’s rank as a top finalist of this prestigious international competition is a perfect example of the innovative local companies thriving in Fresno,” said Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. “OnFarm is adding to the Fresno area’s expertise in water and energy technology, focusing efforts to potentially deliver highly accurate irrigation forecasting and recommendations, saving water and lowering crop failure rates.”

Joining OnFarm are finalists from around the world including Latin America, Eastern Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, western Asia and North America. These eight finalists are still competing after 17 regional competitions involving thousands of prospective companies.

For more information, contact Helle Petersen at (559) 278-4541 or

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