Together We Can, A Celebration of Food and Farming

Aaron Putze
Director of External Relations &
Coordinator, Iowa Food & Family Project
Iowa Soybean Association

There are few celebrations more enjoyable and meaningful than the Iowa State Fair! After all, it’s not just every day that you can enjoy a pork chop on a stick, fried Twinkies and a full menu of entertainment – both new and old – that’s perfect for people of all ages.

Speaking of new, the Iowa Food & Family Project ( will make its debut in a big way at this year’s Fair by bringing together thousands of canned food items and a committed team of volunteers. Together, they’ll create a first-of-its-kind exhibit at one of the most popular celebrations of food, fun and agriculture in America!

We’re calling it “Together We CAN!” – a celebration of food and farming benefiting the Iowa Food Bank Association, and you’re invited to be a part of the festivities!

The exhibit will feature the awe-inspiring work of Canstruction®, one of the world’s most unique food charities. Canstruction is a non-profit organization that holds annual design-and-build competitions to construct giant-sized structures made entirely of canned food. Since 1992, Canstruction has contributed more than 15 million pounds of food to community food banks.

Located in the south atrium of the Varied Industries Building 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily, this must-see exhibit will include larger-than-life replicas of the Iowa State Fair butter cow (in honor of its 100th anniversary), a milk carton, market-size hog and landscape of soybeans and corn fields — all sculpted from thousands of cans of food (the actual build will take place Aug. 11-14). Following the fair, all food items used in the exhibit will be donated to the Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA) benefiting Iowans struggling against hunger.

The purpose of the exhibit is to encourage conversations about farming, inspire greater awareness of the commitment of Iowa farmers to providing healthy food for everyone and provide a helping hand to people and families struggling with hunger.

You’re cordially invited to stop by and view this extremely innovative and unique exhibit. In addition to seeing an incredible work of art and donating to the Iowa Food Bank Association, you can also receive a free gift and watch “Celebrity Builders” lend a hand during the exhibits “Canstruction!” They include “Cy,” Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey, Des Moines native Rebecca Meyer (the Season 8 at-home $100,000 winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”) and members of Casting Crowns, a Grammy Award-winning contemporary Christian rock band (see our web site for a complete list of Celebrity Builders!).

We’re looking forward to engaging fairgoers about the miracle of food and introducing them to the people who provide it! In the meantime, be sure to “friend” the Iowa Food & Family Project at and check out our web site for more details!

See you at the Iowa State Fair!