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From farm to free throws, Land O’Lakes robotics competition


Many agriculture companies are constantly looking for ways to broaden their reach on the public and include more students in agriculture. Land O’Lakes, Inc. announced “Land O’Lakes Bot Shot,” a robotics competition between students from seven universities vying for a $10,000 grand prize during a live event in Minneapolis.

Student teams will design and build robots to shoot basketballs and square off in a game of “H-O-R-S-E” on Sunday, April 7, at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Teams from seven universities are currently competing to be among the four finalists qualifying for the championship event.

“Like the American farmer, Land O’Lakes celebrates technology and creative minds — from technological advancements to automation on the farm,” said Beth Ford, President and CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc. “Land O’Lakes Bot Shot will engage talented young minds and cutting-edge technology to celebrate innovation, creativity and competition. May the best team win!”

The competition begins in March with a virtual qualifying round when each team’s robot will need to complete a series of basketball skills, under review by a panel of judges. The judges will select four finalists who will travel to Minneapolis for the championship event: a live game of “H-O-R-S-E” between the remaining teams.

Awaiting the winning team will be a chance to put their robot to one final test during a shoot around with basketball legend David Robinson.

“My passion is to help provide educational programming for young people, and Land O’Lakes Bot Shot is a unique way to raise awareness for STEM learning and careers in agriculture,” said Robinson. “I’m excited to see the creativity of the teams and performance of their robots, and hopefully make a few shots myself.”

Teams of competing students represent seven schools, including the University of Florida, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Purdue University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, South Dakota State University, and North Carolina A&T.

Materials and supplies to design and construct the robots have been provided by Land O’Lakes in partnership with AndyMark, Inc., a leading mechanical and electrical parts supplier with a focus on robotics education.

For more information, including team bios, competition rules and updates, visit their website.

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