Feed Your Curiosity about Farming at this State Fair Exhibit

Guest blog post by Aaron Putze, Director of Communications & External Relations for the Iowa Soybean Association

What summer is complete without a trip to the Iowa State Fair? That’s what I thought.

Since we’re into asking questions, here’s one more… What do a 50-ton sand sculpture, balloon art and farm fresh recipes have in common? All will be featured by the Iowa Food & Family Project (IFFP) to demonstrate how “What Farmers Grow, Makes Iowa Go” at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 13 – 23, in Des Moines.

It’s a great theme because Iowa farmers literally work from the ground up to provide wholesome food sustainably. The exhibit will help spark conversations between farmers and consumers about today’s farms and the food system in a fun, inviting atmosphere.

The IFFP exhibit, located in the southeast atrium of the Varied Industries Building, will showcase the many ways farming contributes to Iowa and the quality of life enjoyed by those who live and work here.

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Photo credit: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Food & Family Project

Stop by and see the exhibit take shape (literally!) as Greg and Brandi Glenn (picture to the right), co-owners of Sandscapes®, transform tons of sand into a display capturing the farm-to-table connection. The work of art will be created over the course of seven days, starting opening day of the fair and standing nearly 14-feet tall when completed.

A variety of activities, entertainment and prizes will also provide fun for the entire family:

  • Magician Michael Oz will bring farming to life through balloon creations for children of all ages from 2 – 4 p.m. on Aug. 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22.
  • Snag a copy of the new Iowa Food and Family Cookbook, featuring nearly 60 recipes from Iowa bloggers and farm families, plus tips on food preparation and safety, meat cuts, healthy eating and exercise.
  • Participate in agricultural trivia and activities will provide visitors with a chance to win a variety of prizes including Casey’s pizza for a year, $250 in Hy-Vee groceries and a farm-fresh meat bundle valued at more than $500.

Visitors can also discover interesting facts about farming by embarking on an AgVenture Discovery Trail that winds its way throughout the fair. Trail maps are available at fair information booths and can be redeemed at the Iowa FFP booth for a special prize.

The Iowa FFP’s “What Farmers Grow Makes Iowa Go!” exhibit is powered by Iowa’s corn, soybean, pork, beef, dairy and egg farmers with a helping hand from Casey’s General Stores, United Soybean Board, Hy-Vee and the Machine Shed Restaurant.

Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is also a great partner of the Iowa Food & Family Project, helping the effort maintain a statewide and year-long presence as we celebrate the continuous improvement of Iowa’s farm families and their dedication to providing wholesome food for everyone. Working together, we’re building a greater understanding and confidence among food-minded Iowans by conducting unique activities, serving as presenting sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa plus connecting with thousands of food-minded Iowans online via Twitter (@foodnfamilies), Facebook (Facebook.com/foodnfamilies) and at www.iowafoodandfamily.com.

On behalf of the Iowa Food & Family Project, I look forward to seeing you at the Iowa State Fair!