Editor's note: This story was originally published on Feb. 5, 2018.
They came, they saw, they conquered. Conquered the five challenges laid before them on an idyllic farm field erected atop the ice of the 3M Arena at Mariucci in the inaugural Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl, that is. All in an effort to shine a brighter light on modern agriculture and inspire the next generation.
Before a pumped-up crowd, Land O’Lakes farmer-member JJ Nunes and Vikings’ wide receiver Stefon Diggs edged out Jason Brown and Dave Ribeiro in The Big Feed Run challenge to claim victory, the bragging rights and the Farm Bowl Trophy.
“This was an awesome event and in the end, I’m happy to take home the Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl trophy,” Diggs says. “I have to give JJ a lot of credit for knowing how to do each of the challenges, and I was able to use a bit of my speed in the final round to get the win. There were a lot of kids in the crowd that learned about farming and agriculture, and ultimately, that was today’s goal.”
The competition was fierce. Farmer-members Amber Horn-Leiterman, Katie Dotterer-Pyle, Craig Roerick and Darin Johnson, along with their respective teammates Greg Jennings, Jerome Bettis, Jason Brown and Kyle Rudolph, turned in equally strong performances.
Some called it the “Mariucci Miracle,” others said it was the most unique and memorable activation of the week preceding the Big Game. On Twitter alone, coverage of the Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl reached nearly 6 million people, and the Facebook livestream of the full event reached another 1.8 million people. Regardless of the stats, the intangible goal of reaching new audiences and shining a brighter light on modern farming was undoubtedly reached.
“It was certainly a unique event for the fans, but also an important way to use the spotlight on Minneapolis this week to showcase the important work of our farmer-members and as an opportunity to inspire the next generation of leaders in modern agriculture,” said Chris Policinski, president and CEO.
The Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl was a success. Thanks to our members, employees, and partners, we told the story of modern agriculture in an unprecedented and unforgettable style, and had a lot of fun along the way.