Iowans invited to “get your ag on” at the State Fair

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey invites Iowans attending the Iowa State Fair to learn more about the many exciting opportunities available in Iowa agriculture and then share their experiences using the #GetYourAgOn hashtag on social media.

“Agriculture is everywhere at the Iowa State Fair and we wanted to invite the more than 1 million visitors to the fair to learn more about Iowa agriculture and then share their experiences. Whether it is 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 and share Iowa agriculture,” Northey said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s display in the Agriculture Building will have information available about the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and will be handing out sunglasses with on them, a website created to help all Iowans learn about what they can do to help protect water quality.  Also, coordinators from Iowa Water Quality Initiative demonstration projects will give presentations in the Agriculture Building Thursday, Aug. 13, at 1 pm, Saturday Aug. 15 at 1 pm, and Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 5 pm.

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 participating in the display in the Agriculture Building and have information available about Iowa agriculture.  The movie “Farmland” will also be shown daily at 1 pm at the Maytag Family Theaters building and is presented by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.

The Iowa Egg Council will offer eggs on a stick to fairgoers from 9 am to 6 pm every day of the fair. The department will also have posters and handouts about Avian Influenza at both booth locations to help answer any questions fairgoers have about the recent outbreak.

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 Iowa Century Farm and Heritage Farm Awards will be presented on Thursday, Aug. 20 starting at 9 am at livestock pavilion.  This is a new day and location for the awards and 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. This year there are 366 Century Farm winners and 101 Heritage Farm winners. These awards are sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau.

On Wednesday, Aug. 19, starting at 9 am Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Northey and Iowa DNR director Chuck Gipp will recognize 95 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.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 10 am the department will recognize the winners of the 2015-2016 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 2015 Governor’s Charity Steer Show on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 4 pm in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair. Northey will show a steer owned by Shau Landt of Charles City.  Immediately following the competition the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa.

The Iowa State Fair runs from Aug. 13 to 23 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.

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