Iowa's largest consumer event, the Iowa State Fair, runs from Aug. 7 to Aug. 17 in 2014, at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines. Consumers will have plenty of chances to learn about the beef industry.
Look for these beef checkoff sponsored activities during this year's fair:
Animal Learning Center will feature a display that includes the type of feed cattle eat. The beef checkoff is also co-sponsoring the Thank-a-Farmer program which educates fairgoers on the fact that nearly everything they touch, consume and wear is directly connected to agriculture and a farmer. Shows run daily during the entire fair at 11 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Little Hands on the Farm, a popular spot for families, will feature a monoslope cattle barn. Children pick up packages of corn and drop them off at the cattle bunk to feed the cattle. Signage shares how farmer care for their cattle. The exhibit is open daily from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Farmville, an interactive exhibit area in the Agriculture Building sponsored by the beef checkoff and five other commodity groups in partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) will show fairgoers different practices farmers employ to protect and enhance water quality. Beef industry volunteers will be on hand Tuesday, Aug.12 and Wednesday, Aug.13 to answer questions and hand out coupons to the Cattlemen's Beef Quarters. The display is open daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
The 32nd annual Governors Charity Steer Show will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 9 in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion with the auction beginning immediately following the show in the Penningroth Media Center. The celebrity steer show has generated nearly $2.3 million dollars in support of Iowa's Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Cattlemen's Beef Quarters (CBQ) is a favorite dining destination for many, and it marks its 30th year of service this year. This state fair restaurant began its 30-year journey at the fair to serve as an advocate for Iowa cattlemen and women and the high quality beef they raise. It is comprised of 68 county cattlemen's associations and is staffed by some 1,200 beef industry volunteers each year. The CBQ serves roughly 74,000 customers and prepares some 35,000 pounds of beef annually during the 11-day event.
Schmacon will debut at the Cattlemen's Beef Quarters restaurant on the fairgrounds. Bold and beefy, Schmacon is a fresh take on bacon. The smoked and cured glazed beef slices are made from whole muscle beef and a proprietary spice blend and cure recipe to create a unique sweet and smoky flavor. The CBQ has added Schmacon to its all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast plate for 2014. Breakfast is served daily from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m.Check out the 51st Annual Farm Bureau's Cook-Out Contest on the Grand Concourse beginning at 9 a.m., August 12. The Iowa Beef Checkoff is the sponsor of the Beef Division.
"PICTURE YOURSELF IN AGRICULTURE" AT STATE FAIR
People attending the 2014 Iowa State Fair can visit the Agriculture Building to "Picture Themselves in Agriculture" and get their photo taken in front of a green screen studio where they can choose from four different farming/agriculture backgrounds. All fairgoers who get their picture taken will receive a 4x6 printed photo."The State Fair is a great place to see Iowa agriculture up close and learn more about all that is taking place on farms across the state, now you will even be able to get a picture of yourself on an Iowa farm," Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says. "As people come out to the state fair I encourage them to visit our displays in the ag building and the Varied Industries building to learn a little more about the exciting opportunities available through Iowa agriculture."
The photos are sponsored by seven Iowa ag organizations, the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Egg Council, Midwest Dairy Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship will have photo frame magnets available.
Other ag exhibits in Ag Building and Varied Industries Building
The "Farmville" display will also be back in the agriculture building, this year focused on conservation practices that improve water quality. There will be a variety of education activities taking place in "Farmville" throughout the fair as well. In addition, the Iowa Egg Council will be offering eggs on a stick to fairgoers.
In the Varied Industries building the department of ag will also have a display to educate Iowans about the activities of the department and continue the tradition of weighing fairgoers on a scale certified by the Weights and Measures Bureau.
Iowa Century Farm and Heritage Farm Awards: The Iowa Century Farm and Heritage Farm Awards will be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 12 starting at 9 a.m. at the Century/Heritage stage, just south of the Grand Avenue entrance. Century Farm awards recognize farms that have been in the same family for 100 years and Heritage Farms awards recognize farms that have been owned by the same family for 150 years. This year there are 344 Century Farm winners and 86 Heritage Farm winners. These awards are sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau.
Farm Environmental Leader Award Winners: On Wednesday, Aug. 13 starting at 9:00 a.m. Gov. Branstad, Northey and Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp will recognize Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award winners. The awards will be presented at the Penningroth Center inside the Cattle Barn and recognize the efforts of Iowa's farmers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality.
It seeks to recognize the exemplary voluntary actions of farmers that improve and protect the environment and natural resources of our state while also encouraging other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success. Hagie Manufacturing sponsors a luncheon for award winners following the ceremony at the Farm Bureau shelter that Northey will also attend.
"From The Farm To You" calendar drawing contest: At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13 the state ag department will be recognizing winners of the 2014-2015 "From the Farm to You" calendar drawing contest in the agriculture building. Kids from across the state submitted pictures for the calendar. Copies of the calendar are available to fairgoers at the ag department's booths in the ag building and the Varied Industries building.