Iowa Soybean Association brings the farm to the Iowa State Fair08/07/2018 | Soybean News, Ag Awareness
Katie Johnson, ISA public relations manager
With more than a million visitors each year, it’s no wonder the Iowa State Fair is the prime opportunity to reach consumers. Instead of bringing the consumer to the farm, this year the Iowa Food and Family Project and the Iowa Soybean Association brings the farm to the fair.
Once again located in the South Atrium of the Varied Industries Building, more than 250,000 fairgoers are expected to “follow a farmer” through a one-of-a-kind, home-in-barn in the Iowa Food and Family Project's exhibit, where they will learn what it takes to bring their food from the farm to the table. Visitors can then complete a short quiz and enter to win a $500 meat & dairy bundle, $500 Hy-Vee Gift Card, $500 Earl May Dream Garden or Casey’s Pizza for a Year.
The Iowa Food and Family Project is funded by the soybean, pork, beef, egg, corn, turkey and dairy checkoffs, as well as non-checkoff resources. Seven Iowa farmers were chosen to showcase their farms and the different commodities they grow.
“The iconic Iowa State Fair is the perfect opportunity to unite Iowans and celebrate our state’s rural and urban communities,” says Kelly Visser, Iowa Soybean Association Communications Program Coordinator. “The lineup of fun, hands-on activities ISA is involved in gives fairgoers the opportunity to learn where their food comes from and connect with the farmers who grow it.”
Visitors of all ages can also take their turn at the Food and Farm Trivia Wheel and meet celebrity artists such as Governor Kim Reynolds, mascots Cy and Herky, and former Hawkeye quarterback Chuck Long as they paint a larger-than-life mural celebrating Iowa and the families and food that grow here.
The Iowa Soybean Association is also sponsoring several agricultural learning activities to engage visitors of all ages. Several soybean farmers will be at the Ag Building and Animal Learning Center Aug. 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to share insights about the soybean industry and answer questions about production n, environmental stewardship and trade. Visitors can test their agricultural knowledge and win a special prize.
The Iowa Soybean Association is proud to sponsor a chance for children to get their hands dirty at the Little Hands on the Farm Kids Zone on the fairground’s north side. Children ages two to ten become farmers at this free, hands-on exhibit. Children obtain a gathering basket and proceed along a path that includes a garden, grain bin, soybeans, apple orchard, chicken coop, tractor shed, sheep barn and dairy barn. They will then sell their items at the Farmers’ Market. With their earnings, they can purchase fruit, a granola bar, or an ice cream sandwich.
Soy education isn’t complete without biodiesel. Home-grown biodiesel will power the State Fair trams, raising the awareness on the importance of this biofuel.
And finally, the farm officially comes to the fair during Iowa State Fair’s new event, Farm to Fair. Nearly 100 farmers — including ISA members — will welcome 400 guests as they gather around the largest dinner table ever set at the Iowa State Fair. This historic event will be Sunday, August 12 and will provide farmers a unique platform to share information about their farm right at the dinner table.
Katie Johnson can be contacted at email@example.com.
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