Ag Rowers Paddling 340 Miles for a Cause
The MR340 has been postponed until August 12-15, due to river conditions during the original dates in July. The Ag Rowers plan to participate in August and look forward to your continued support!
The Missouri American Water 340 (MR340), a statewide endurance race on the Missouri River, kicks off July 8. Competitors will start in Kansas City and have 88 hours to paddle across the finish line in St. Charles. In the mix of 400 registered kayaks and canoes, one team’s priority is to educate while navigating the 340-mile course. In boat #0001, The Missouri Corn and Soybean Rowers, also known as the Ag Rowers, will be racing to highlight the river’s relationship with Missouri agriculture.
The Ag Rowers are sponsored by the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC), Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and industry partners. This is the team’s first time participating in the race.
“From providing rich soil to serving as one of the most efficient transportation options for our grain, the Missouri River is incredibly important to the history and future success of Missouri agriculture,” says Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybean executive director and Ag Rower team member. “The MR340 is an opportunity to connect with others who care for, and count on the outstanding resource we have running across our state.”
MCGA Director of Public Policy Shane Kinne makes up the second half of the tandem kayak team. Wheeler and Kinne have been practicing on the Missouri River regularly over the past several months.
“The river system is a vital resource not only to farmers, but to Missouri’s economy as a whole,” Kinne says. “While we are working hard to protect and maintain the floodplain, there are issues surrounding the river that could use more discussion. Our goal is to use this opportunity to talk about flood control, transportation and conservation of this vital resource.”
Sponsors of the Ag Rowers team include: American Soybean Association, Central Bank, FCS Financial, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Lifeline Ethanol, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Pork Association, Monsanto, National Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Corn Board, Pioneer, POET-Ladonnia, POET-Macon, Show-Me Ethanol, Syngenta and Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association.
There are nine checkpoints along the MR340 route where paddlers are required to sign in and sign out. Failure to maintain a minimum pace to meet checkpoint deadlines is grounds for disqualification. Wheeler and Kinne are planning a 6-7 mile per hour pace, which would allow them to finish the race well under the 88-hour limit.
Learn more about the MR340 at http://rivermiles.com/mr340/. For more information on the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council and Missouri Corn Growers Association, visit them online at mosoy.org and mocorn.org.