Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs and Tulare, Calif.-based farmer JJ Nunes captured the Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl trophy on Thursday, a light-hearted competition between past and present football legends and current Land O'Lakes farmer-members at 3M Arena at Mariucci on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Diggs and Nunes edged former professional offensive lineman Jason Brown and farmer Dave Ribeiro in the championship challenge - The Big Feed Run - to win the event.
"This was an awesome event and in the end, I'm happy to take home the Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl trophy," said Diggs. "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 Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl was certainly something out of my comfort zone, but Stefon and I made a good team and we prevailed," said Nunes. "It is important for us in the agriculture industry to teach youth about modern farming, and today's event certainly helped showcase some of what we do."
Six total teams took to the course in the Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl, including:
- Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver Stefon Diggs and JJ Nunes of Nunes and Sons Dairy in Tulare, CA
- Former center, current farmer Jason Brown and Dave Ribeiro of Rib Arrow Dairy in Tulare, CA
- Former wide receiver Greg Jennings and Amber Horn-Leiterman of Hornstead Dairy in Brillion, WI
- All Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly and Craig Roerick of Roerview Dairy in Swanville, MN
- Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis and Katie Dotterer-Pyle of Cow Comfort Inn of Union Bridge, MD
- Minnesota Vikings' tight end Kyle Rudolph and Darin Johnson of Johnson Farms in Wells, MN
Each pair competed in four primary events, including the Tractor Tire Change, Milk Pipe Puzzle, Drone Drop and Hay Bale Backup. The two best times advanced to the final round.
"The Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl was a great test of farm-inspired skill and agility," said Chris Policinski, Land O'Lakes, Inc. president and CEO. "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."
The event was streamed live on the Land O'Lakes, Inc. Facebook page, and will be condensed into a 22-minute feature, which will be available on www.TheFarmBowl.com. ESPN personality Marty Smith and CBS Sports' Allie LaForceprovided play-by-play and color commentary of the event, while multi-platinum recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks interacted with the competitors on the field.
While perhaps best known for its LAND O LAKES® Butter, the company is a Fortune 209, farmer-owned food and agriculture cooperative offering products and services from farm to fork, including the WinField United, Purina Animal Nutrition and Vermont Creamery brands. The Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl, as part of Land O'Lakes' Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee programming, aims to inspire the next generation of leaders to consider careers in food and agriculture. By testing the skills of professional athletes on the farm, the event showcased the intricacies and challenges of modern agriculture.