CAFNR Floats Your Boat

One was shaped like a picnic basket. Another was built to look like a gray Stealth bomber. Still another was constructed to resemble a submarine. Then there was the one with a giant dog head, complete with wagging tail and flapping tongue. They shared one thing – they were all made of cardboard and duct tape and raced in the inaugural Float Your Boat for the Food Bank cardboard boat race April 21 at Philips Lake Park.

Many teams had another thing in common – a CAFNR connection.

Vice Chancellor and CAFNR Dean Tom Payne, and Marc Linit, associate dean, donned wet suits to race in the Boatload of Payne, painstakingly coordinated, constructed and decorated by a team of CAFNR Dean’s Office staff, including Drew Backues, user support analyst specialist; Bob Grant, coordinator of contracts and projects; Heidi Griswold, director of development; James Hundle, assistant to the dean; Sandy Monson, director of information design; and Christine Pickett, director of external relations. Dean Payne championed the idea of the race and the College served as title sponsor.

The MU Limnology Lab, aka Dan Obrecht and Tony Thorpe, senior research specialists, helped construct The Daphnia and provided a canoe on-site for Producer Kent Faddis, Cooperative Media Group, who filmed the event from the water – see the resulting video of the race here.

Bryan Garton, associate dean of academic programs, provided garage space for his son and friends – all Mizzou engineering students — to construct their teams’ submarine.

Heidi Griswold, director of development, sponsored the Student Development Board’s boat, Notta-Yachta.

In total, the event attracted 20 boats built by mid-Missouri businesses, student groups and radio stations, as a fundraiser for The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. $2,460 and approximately 1,800 pounds of healthy food were donated to help The Food Bank supply food to people who don’t have enough to eat in mid-Missouri.

The winning entry was the Patty Mae, sponsored by KOPN Community Radio and captained by David Owens. He and his crew rowed from a boat ramp, past a buoy and to the dock that served as the finish line in 40.72 seconds. Second place was the submarine, the USS Enterprise, built by a group called The BBDs, and captained by Levi Knipmeyer. Third place was a yellow craft constructed by Boone County staff, commanded by Dan Atwill, Boone County presiding commissioner.

The Titanic Best Sinking Award was presented to a boat called the Ruddy Duck. The Most Creative Use of Cardboard Award was given to the Stealth bomber crew, who stood up in their boat and saluted before finishing the race. The Best Decorated Boat Award went to the Picnic Basket, which sunk also, built by staff of Lenoir Woods retirement community.

“This event is designed to bring the community together to collaborate in an innovative, team-building project, culminating with a fun and unique competition that supports a great cause,” Kristen Smarr, director of CAFNR Communications, said.

The project is part of a year-long commitment by CAFNR to boost food donations to The Food Bank. The project, Collaborating for a Healthy Future, utilizes the College’s expertise, partnerships and knowledge in areas of agriculture, economics and nutrition. For the project, CAFNR has planted two acres of sweet corn at its Bradford Research Center to provide 14,000-28,000 ears for The Food Bank. CAFNR students volunteered in The Food Bank’s Buddy Pack Program where more than 8,600 children each week receive food to supplement their weekend meals.

CAFNR is also conducting research to find practical ways that Missouri food banks can improve the diets of people who use food banks.

See more photos of the event on CAFNR’s Flickr stream.