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NORTH PLATTE, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation and its Promotion and Education Committee hosted the first annual Agriculture Matters Race on Feb. 4 in North Platte. Racers from across the state came together to celebrate agriculture in Nebraska and the connection to health and fitness.

“The race was a way for us to showcase agriculture in Nebraska and make the connection between fitness and food,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

164 racers joined in the 5K or 10K races at the North Platte Recreation Center. Racers and the public were also invited to join in interactive activities and engaging education stations in the rec center gym. The activities showcased Nebraska agriculture and its importance to the State of Nebraska.

Activities included growing your own living necklace, coloring stations for youth, and nutrition information and recipes from Nebraska farmers and ranchers.

“We had many farmer and rancher volunteers from around the state sharing their stories of agriculture and how it impacts wellness,” Schafer said. “The race was a great way to connect consumers directly to the people that grow and raise the nutritious food that fuels their bodies.”

The race was part of the Platte River Fitness Series and the sesquicentennial celebration’s Nebraska 150 Challenge.

Proceeds from the race will support the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s efforts to provide accurate information about agriculture and its importance to health, economics, and the environment to students, teachers, and consumers across the state.

The overall winner of the 5K was Danielle Thoene, from Burwell, NE for women and Alejandro Gutierrez, from Lexington, NE for men. The overall winner of the 10K was Kylie Cheetsos, from Grand Island, NE for women and Matthew Gastineau, from North Platte for men. Each winner received a gift basket full of Nebraska grown and based products, including pork certificates from the Pork Board, popcorn from Columbus, NE, and other agriculture related items.

First National Bank – North Platte provided the lead sponsorship of the race. Other sponsors include Equitable Bank, Sandhills State Bank, Lashley Land and Recreational Brokers, Ag Valley Coop, Farm Credit Services of America – North Platte, North Platte/Lincoln County Visitor’s Bureau, U-Save Pharmacy, Cash Wa, and Gary’s Super Food’s.

The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.