“Be Our Guest, Be a Farmer” Gains National Attention

Mom, apple pie and tractor rides … that’s about as all-American as it gets.  Throw in a “pork chop on a stick” combined with a trip to the Iowa State Fair and that’s about as all-Iowan as it gets!

One lucky person and three of his/her guests will be treated to a three-night, four-day “vacation” to Iowa in August 2011 as part of the Iowa Soybean Association’sBe Our Guest, Be a Farmer” contest.  As we reported last December, the contest was announced on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, when Iowa farm families were showcased during a video message that aired on the giant CBS Jumbotron screen in New York City’s Time Square. Over the past two months, the ISA has received 80 entries from 26 states, extending from Main to California and from Minnesota to Florida.  Entries will be accepted through Friday, April 29, 2011.

While many Iowans may not understand why anyone would want to enter such a contest, there are likely just as many of us involved in agriculture who can’t believe anyone would want to pass on this “once in a lifetime opportunity.” 

I have to admit that there have been times when I’ve taken our wonderful lifestyle for granted, but I was reminded just how good we have it here when our family hosted an exchange student in the fall of 2005.  Sylvia, our 21-year-old guest from Germany, was eagerly awaiting a weekend visit from her best friend, Saskia.  She couldn’t wait to share all of her favorite activities with her BFF including:

  • Lying in our backyard, on the trampoline, gazing at the star-filled sky (after all, you can’t do that in metropolitan areas where lights obstruct your view!)
  • Grabbing a cup of cappuccino from Casey’s en route to a regional mall before heading to Culver’s for a lunch of cheeseburgers and cheese curds
  • Riding in a combine and eating supper with a local family (Nobody cooks better than my mom!)

And the highlight of the weekend was…  (drum roll, please) … the combine ride and a home-cooked meal including roast, mashed potatoes and apple pie.  It was a highlight for me, too, because I got to see just how excited these young women were to take a ride through a corn field.  It truly was a “Kodak moment,” and I knew we had helped make memories that would last a lifetime.

Help make a memory for your non-farm friends by encouraging them to enter the “Be Our Guest, Be a Farmer” contest.  Registration is easy; details are available at www.ItStartsInIowa.com.