Senior management major and Dawsonville native Ben Umberger recently won first place and the grand prize of $10,000 from the Henry & Clara Ford Fund for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the 2019 Pitch Competition at Berry College Feb. 8.
He was also awarded an additional $1,000 for winning audience-choice Berry Best Idea.
Umberger started his business, Umberger Farms Cattle Company, when he was 11 years old and began with bottle feeding calves before and after school.
His business, which is now located in Trion, Ga. is focused on raising Hereford and Angus beef cattle by cross-producing them to make more efficient and dynamic beef cattle that excels in the current beef market.
“During the competition I felt a little out of place as I raise cattle for a living and that is something that you don’t hear of everyday. However, I am really encouraged that the judges saw potential in my business,” Umberger said. “The entrepreneurship program here at Berry has helped me a lot along the way in developing more skills and gaining more knowledge on what it takes to run a successful business - which is what I aim to do with Umberger Farms.”
The Berry College Entrepreneurship Program sponsored the 2019 Pitch Competition, which is under the leadership of Professor of Management Paula Englis.
Four other students, Josie Hadaway of Salem, Ala., Jorie Hodapp of Villa Rica, Ga., Harmony Petty of Calhoun, Ga. and Anthea Phitides of Madison, Ga. also took home cash to fund their businesses.
For more information about the Berry College Entrepreneurship Program, visit: www.berryentrepreneurs.com/AbouttheProgram-4.