Photo: Iowa Food & Family Project

More than 350 Iowans volunteer with the Iowa Food & Family Project during the Iowa State Fair each August. (Credit: Iowa Food and Family Project)

Drawing Consumer Connections to Iowa’s Agriculture Masterpiece

August 9, 2022 | Brock Johnston

Iowa Food & Family Project paints a portrait of modern agriculture at 2022 Iowa State Fair

Ankeny, Iowa – A bird’s eye view of Iowa shows a unique patchwork of farms, fields and fun. Beginning this week, fair visitors will witness the beauty of modern agriculture up-close at the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) exhibit during the 2022 Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair will be held Aug. 11-21 in Des Moines.

Situated in the Southeast Atrium of the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building, the “Agriculture is Iowa’s Masterpiece” display features live mural demonstrations by local artists depicting food, families and agriculture. Visitors can test their ag knowledge with the spin wheel, picture themselves on the farm with a photo booth, and create a masterpiece of their own with a take-home mini canvas.

“Whether it be a scenic drive across the landscape, a tasty dinnertime favorite, or a family growing the food and fiber to power future generations of healthy Iowans – agriculture is Iowa’s masterpiece,” says Lydia Zerby, consumer insights and engagement manager of the Iowa Soybean Association who leads the work of the Iowa Food & Family Project. “Illustrating that beauty within the exhibit gives visitors a deeper understanding of farming in a fun, approachable way."

Visitors can enter to win one of six “grand champion” prizes, including prize packs from state commodity organizations, gift cards to Iowa-based businesses and framed artwork from a local photographer.

For Sarah Stott, an artist and art teacher from Jefferson, participating in the exhibit brings back memories of her Midwest roots and the lasting impression of agriculture on her life.

“I loved helping my grandma with the chores, spending countless hours exploring the outdoors, and enjoying the nostalgic family holidays with my siblings and cousins,” says Stott. “I can still smell the front porch and remember walking into the kitchen filled with the aroma of baking bread and roast in the oven."

The same sentiment is shared through Iowa FFP’s network of nearly 35 food, farm and healthy living organizations who are proud of Iowa’s homegrown foods and hometown values.

The exhibit will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. To learn more about Iowa FFP, visit iowafoodandfamily.com.

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The Iowa Food & Family Project invites Iowans to explore how food is grown and raised around the state and meet the farmers who make it happen – 24/7, 365 days a year. The initiative networks with nearly 35 food, farm and healthy living organizations who are proud of Iowa’s homegrown foods and hometown values. Funded in part by the soybean, pork, corn, beef, dairy, egg and turkey checkoffs as well as non-checkoff resources.


The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) is “Driven To Deliver” increased soybean demand through market development and new uses, farmer-focused research and results, timely information and know-how and policy initiatives enabling farmers and the industry to flourish. Founded in 1964 by farmers to serve farmers, ISA is governed by a board of 22 farmers to advocate on behalf of the state’s 40,000 soybean producers, including more than 12,000 ISA farmer members and industry stakeholders.

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