Celebrate Food & Farming at the Iowa State Fair!

By Kelly Visser, Iowa Soybean Association communications program coordinator

State Fair Volunteers There’s no better celebration of food, family and farming than the iconic Iowa State Fair. Whether it’s meeting baby piglets, cheering on grocery bagging competitions or enjoying a new fair food, fairgoers from both rural and urban communities can make lifelong memories during the incredible 11-day event.

The Iowa Food & Family Project will have an exhibit in the South Atrium of the Varied Industries Building, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day of the fair. The display will offer fairgoers a unique perspective about agriculture, farm families, food and food retailers.

More than 250,000 fairgoers are expected to “follow a farmer” through a one-of-a-kind combination barn-and-home, complete a short quiz and enter to win several fabulous prizes including a $500 meat & dairy bundle, $500 Hy-Vee Gift Card, $500 Earl May Dream Garden and Casey’s Pizza for a Year!

Visitors can take their turn at the Food and Farm Trivia Wheel and meet celebrity artists as they paint a larger-than-life mural celebrating Iowa and the families and food that grow here. Here’s the celebrity guest painting schedule:

  • Chuck Long | Thursday, August 9 at 1 p.m.
  • Cy and the Iowa State University Cheer Squad | Wednesday, August 15 at 1 p.m.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds | Thursday, August 16 at 1 p.m.

Follow the Iowa Food & Family Project on Facebook for live updates from the fair.

Iowa State Fair by the Numbers

It takes a lot of volunteers, food and fuel to power the fair each year, and Iowa’s farm groups play a huge part in making it happen! Here are a few fair food fun facts:

  • Approximately 160,000 eggs on a stick are handed out each year.
  • The Iowa Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters serves 28,000 pounds of beef each year.
  • On average, more than 7,100 gallons of ice cream are served at the Dairy Barn.
  • Each year, 75,000 pork chops are served.
  • Beer and hot dogs are fair favorites that are made with corn.
  • The turkey grill opened in 1983.
  • The fair spans 400 acres. A farmer can grow 94,000 bushels of corn or 26,000 bushels of soybeans on 400 acres.
  • A world record for the most people simultaneously eating corn dogs was set at the fair in 2008, with 8,400 corn dogs consumed!

Iowa State “Fare” Cookbook

You can continue enjoying fair food all year long with recipes from Iowa Food & Family Project’s Iowa State “Fare” Cookbook. The cookbook serves up tried and true recipes created by Cristen Clark, a farmer, award winning-cook and fair aficionado. Click here to download a copy of the cookbook.

State Fair Graphic

Double Corn Dog Mini Muffins


Servings: 18 mini muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes

  • 1 (8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup canned sweet corn kernels, well drained
  • 3 hot dogs



Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large mixing bowl add corn muffin mix, egg and milk. Whisk until combined. Add sweet corn kernels, stir to combine.

Cut hot dogs into 6 pieces each, total of 18 pieces.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into 18 greased mini muffin cups. Press 1 piece of cut hot dog into each of the batter filled mini muffin cups.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until muffin tops are golden brown.

Serve warm with ketchup or other desired dipping sauces.

About the Iowa Food & Family Project

The Iowa Food & Family Project is powered by more than 35 partners, including Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, with a goal to help Iowans feel more confident about how and where their food is grown. For more information, please visit iowafoodandfamily.com.