by Evelyn Leubner
Over the past four weeks, a group of farmers participated in an intense Milk Flip Cup Challenge on Instagram. Sixteen of us were organized into a bracket and played each Saturday (or whenever we weren’t too busy on the farm).
My first competition was against Zach Johnson, known on social media as @MNMillennialFarmer. I was pretty nervous for this one, as he has half a million followers on YouTube, so I knew there would be a good crowd. He went live on his Instagram and added me to the feed so that it was split screen. I knew it was just a game, but my hands were shaking! I was fresh out of college, so my Flip Cup skills were sharp. It was clear he hadn’t played in a while after the challenge began. Even with my nerves, I was able to pull ahead quite a bit while he was stuck on his second cup. Five cups later, I had won my first round. I got my nerves out of the way for that round, but I knew I had a long way to go.
The second week, I was scheduled to play against Michelle Martin (@agmag_stx), a farmer from Texas. I had watched her crush her previous opponent, so I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. The Friday before the competition, we smack-talked back and forth all day. It got so heated that I wasn’t sure if she was joking around anymore. More and more people kept telling me that they had their brackets filled out with me going to the finals. The pressure was on. The day of the competition, I practiced for hours. Ten minutes before the challenge, I filled my cups with milk. (I learned from someone on the other side of the bracket that it helped to fill them ahead of time to avoid brain freeze.) I turned on my Live, invited her on, and the challenge began. My adrenaline was rushing so much that I had nothing on my mind but flipping those cups and chugging milk. I think my smack-talk paid off, because she got stuck on her third cup and I won! She wasn’t very happy about it and wanted a rematch. But I was headed to the second to last challenge before the finals.
I could see the finish line. All I had to do was beat a fellow New Yorker, Nikki Boxler (@NikkiBoxler), and I would be in the finals. I would make my fans’ brackets come true. This was going to be no easy feat. She was a Flip Cup professional. I did not practice at all – in fact, I was so busy that day, I completely forgot about it until five minutes before! I rushed to get my cups set up and my milk poured. I turned on my Live only to discover she was having technical difficulties. She had to drive to her parents’ house, giving us a 15-minute delay, and too much time for my nerves to start acting up. When the competition started, I couldn’t flip my cups for the life of me! I messed up at least twice on every cup, and before I got to my fourth cup, I could hear her cheering. I had lost and my dreams of making it to the end were crushed. At least a fellow New Yorker was moving on to represent!
The final round featured Nikki Boxler and California Dairy Dad (@CADairyDad) going head to head. The entire week leading to the competition, they hyped everyone up. CA Dairy Dad even made a whole movie trailer, in hopes of intimidating his competition. (I was rooting for Nikki, obviously.) Sadly, when the time came, Nikki had a poor internet connection again and had to move her cups outside. That day there was a brisk wind. When they started to flip their cups, the wind kept blowing her cups back at her! She wasn’t even onto her second cup when CA Dairy Dad boasted with excitement. Our fellow East Coaster was beaten by a West Coast dairy farmer. I was disappointed, to say the least. There’s always next year though!
Despite not making it to the finals, and being disappointed in the outcome of the challenge, so much good came out of the Milk Flip Cup Challenge. It began as a fun way to raise money for Feeding America, and we did just that. Thanks to everyone that donated, we were able to raise over $3,000! A huge thank you goes to Jess and Tara for setting up the challenge and bringing everyone together in these hard times to help those in need. Also, thanks to everyone that donated and participated in any way during the competition. The Flip Cup Challenge was sponsored by Key Apparel, who created shirts for the challenge, with a portion of the proceeds going to Feeding America. Our second sponsor was First Defense Calf Health. This wouldn’t have been possible without all of us coming together. Make sure to stay tuned for the Milk Flip Cup Challenge 2021! If you would like to donate you can visit gofundme.com/f/june-dairy-milk-flip-cup-challenge.