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For Immediate Release
Friday, August 4, 2017

Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)



DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged visitors to the Iowa State Fair to play “Plinko!,” shoot hoops and learn more about Iowa agriculture by visiting the “Ag Park” on the first floor of the Agriculture Building. Kids will also have the opportunity to experience “driving” through rural Iowa and see how all roads lead to agriculture with our simulated truck experience.

“The State Fair is a wonderful showcase of Iowa agriculture and we are excited to have fairgoers stop by and have some fun and learn a bit about how important agriculture is in our state. I hope Iowans will stop by our booth to have some fun, but also take the opportunity to engage in a conversation about our exciting and diverse agriculture industry,” Northey said.

The Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Egg Council, Midwest Dairy Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council will also be present in the “Ag Park” and have information available about Iowa agriculture.  The Iowa Egg Council will be offering eggs on a stick to fairgoers from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the fair.

In the Varied Industries building the Department 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.  The Department will also be handing out tech cloths with on them, a website that was created to help all Iowans learn about what they can do to help protect water quality. The cloths can be used to clean phone screens or glasses.

The Iowa Century Farm and Heritage Farm Awards will be presented on Thursday, Aug. 17 starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Livestock Pavilion.  Everyone is invited to attend and help recognize the families receiving the awards.  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.

There are 354 Century Farm winners and 119 Heritage Farm winners that will be recognized this year.  The awards are sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau.  The full list of families being recognized is available at under “Hot Topics.” A full list of all past Century Farm recipients is available at

On Wednesday, Aug. 16 starting at 10:00 a.m. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Northey and Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp will recognize 81 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.

The awards recognize the exemplary 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.  A full list of award recipients is available at under “Hot Topics.”

At 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 15 the Department will be recognizing the winners of the 2017-2018 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 Department’s booths in the Ag Building and the Varied Industries Building.

Northey will also participate in the 2017 Governor's Charity Steer Show on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 4:00 p.m., in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair.  Northey will be showing a steer owned by Jayden Jorgensen from Charles City.  Immediately following the competition the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.

“More than 1 million visitors attend the fair each year and it is a great opportunity to learn more about what we do on our farms and why.   Seeing the animals in the livestock barns, visiting the animal learning center, seeing the 4-H and FFA students compete or just enjoying some of the amazing food, everyone at the fair will be able to experience the very best of Iowa agriculture,” Northey said.

The Iowa State Fair runs from Aug. 10 to 20 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.

Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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