Iowa is one of the top-producing corn states in the nation, growing more corn than many countries. This year's theme for RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) features an ear of corn for the more than 10,000 bicyclists who will be riding across the state. The week-long ride begins Sunday July 20.
To join the fun, the Iowa Corn Growers Association has added a scavenger hunt for RAGBRAI riders with "Find the Farmer" 8-foot cutouts along the 418-mile bike route. Six Iowa farmers are featured on 8-foot signs with facts about the corn industry. The signs are positioned along the route near Milford, Emmetsburg, Waverly, Independence, Mason City and Forest City.
Enter for your chance to win an "ears & gears" t-shirt
"We encourage riders to find the local farmer and get to know more about the Iowa corn industry," says Janet Wilwerding, communications manager for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. "Being able to connect riders with our Iowa farmers will be important as the bicyclists make their trip across Iowa."
For more information about the farmers, you can watch their videos and enter to win an exclusive "ears and gears" t-shirt, by visiting iowacorn.org/RAGBRAI.
Also, in another effort to help tell the story of Iowa agriculture along the 2014 bike ride route, podcasts will be available for people to tune-in and listen. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced last week that the podcasts will showcase Iowa agriculture along the route and they are available to listen to and/or download.
The podcasts are available at www.iowaagcasts.com or through iTunes by searching for the keyword "Iowa Agcasts."
Podcasts will showcase agriculture along bike route
"The beauty and fertility of Iowa's land is very evident this time of year and these podcasts will highlight the importance of diversity of Iowa agriculture as riders travel across the state," Northey says. "Agriculture is so important to our state and we hope RAGBRAI participants and others will listen to these podcasts and learn more about all that is happening on the farms across Iowa."
The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, together with many partners, created one podcast for each leg of the ride. Each podcast has an interview of one or two local individuals involved in agriculture. This is the second year for the podcasts. The podcasts are unique in that they show the diversity of Iowa's agriculture. Listeners meet a woman leader in agriculture, a dairy farmer in northwest Iowa, Mr. Pork Chop, who got his nickname from 25 years selling Iowa Chops at RAGBRAI, and more.
Riders will be able to learn more about Iowa farming
"Through this podcast you'll be able to hear and learn about some of the many interesting things you'll see on your route. You'll be able to understand more about what you are seeing. The podcasts will probably raise some questions about what's going on out there as well," notes Northey.
The 42nd year of RAGBRAI begins July 20 and rolls across the state until the ride ends July 26. To see details of the route go to www.ragbrai.com. This year's ride takes a northern route, beginning Sunday July 20 at Rock Valley in Iowa's northwest corner and ending 418 miles later on July 26 at Guttenberg on banks of the Mississippi River in northeast Iowa.