Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig encourages visitors to the Iowa State Fair to shoot hoops and learn more about Iowa agriculture when 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 celebration of Iowa and a wonderful opportunity for fair-goers to have fun while seeing the many aspects of our state’s agriculture industry up-close. The Department is excited to again be able to interact with Iowans at our booths and work with ag organizations to help showcase how important agriculture is in our state,” Naig said. “I hope Iowans will stop by our booths to have some fun, but also take the opportunity to learn more about our state’s exciting and diverse agriculture industry.”


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 fair-goers 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 fair-goers on a scale certified by the Weights and Measures Bureau. The Department will also be handing out tech cleaning cloths with www.CleanWaterIowa.org on them, a website that was created for 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. 16, starting at 8:30 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 361 Century Farm winners and 148 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 lists of the 2018 Century and Heritage Farm Award winners are available on www.IowaCenturyFarms.com. The site also includes a full, searchable list of Century Farm recipients from past years.


On Wednesday, Aug. 15, starting at 10 a.m., Gov. Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, Naig and Iowa DNR Acting Director Bruce Trautman will recognize 66 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 Naig will also attend. A full list of award recipients is available here.


At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, the Department will be recognizing the winners of the 2018-2019 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 fair-goers at the Department’s booths in the Ag Building and the Varied Industries Building.


Naig will also participate in the 2018 Governor’s Charity Steer Show on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 4 p.m., in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair. Naig will be showing a steer owned by Alec Staudt from Floyd County. 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. 9 to 19 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.