Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is inviting everyone attending the Iowa State Fair to visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's booth and other new and unique displays in the Agriculture Building. The IDALS display is in its second year and is a joint effort between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and six agriculture commodity groups.
The display includes "Whipple's General Store" that provides fairgoers with resources and samples from Iowa agriculture groups. Samples and information will also be available from Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Egg Council, Midwest Dairy Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The Iowa State Fair runs from Aug. 11 to 21 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.
Learn more about Iowa agriculture, visit the Ag Building at State Fair
"The State Fair brings in one million visitors and we want to take advantage of that opportunity to educate them about Iowa agriculture," Northey says. There is also a stage area in the display and each weekday where Northey will speak to fairgoers and answer questions at 11:00 a.m.
Also, at 10:00 a.m. each day visitors will be given the opportunity to play "Battle in the Barn" and be able to "Ask a Farmer" at 2:00 p.m. each day. The stage is located on the west side of the Agriculture building. In addition, many other aspects of agriculture will be featured on the stage throughout the fair, including topics such as water conservation, beekeeping, and "Fun with Food for Kids."
"With all these activities and information we will have something for everyone," he says. "I hope that as people come out to the State Fair they will take the time to stop by the Ag Building and learn a little more about agriculture here in Iowa."
Several programs at 2011 Iowa State Fair will honor farm families
The Iowa Department of Agriculture will also have a booth in the Varied Industries building that will educate Iowans about the department and how it serves Iowans. It will continue the tradition of weighing fairgoers on a scale certified by the Department's Weights and Measures Bureau.
Century Farms, those that have been in the same family for 100 years, and Heritage Farms, which have been owned by the same family for 150 years, will also be recognized at the State Fair again this year. The program for both Century and Heritage Farms will be on Tuesday, Aug. 16 on the Budweiser stage, just south of the Grand Avenue entrance. These awards are sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship and Iowa Farm Bureau.
Two families will also be recognized during the fair as "Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award" winners. The award recognizes livestock farmers who take pride in doing things right. This includes caring for the environment and their livestock and being good neighbors. Randy and Deb Kroksh from Akron will be recognized on Friday, Aug. 12 and Kent and Sandy Franks from St. Olaf will be recognized on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
On Friday, Aug. 19 the state ag department will be recognizing the winners of the 2010-2011 From the Farm to You Calendar drawing contest in the Agriculture Building. Kids from across the state submitted pictures for the calendar. Calendars are available to fairgoers at the ag department's booths in the Ag Building and in the Varied Industries Building.