(tap to edit)

(tap to edit)

The Iowa Food and Family Project (Iowa FFP) brings a unique summertime, family opportunity designed to bring farming to life through a carnival atmosphere at the “Food & Family Fair.” Entertainment, contests and games presented by the state’s farm groups will excite crowds as they learn about agriculture, wellness and how what farmers grow makes Iowa — and its athletes — go. The 30th Annual Summer Iowa Games Athlete Jamboree and Opening Ceremony is the perfect backdrop for the event to be held Friday, July 15, 5–7:30 p.m. in Ames.

Iowa farmers focus on food and wellness every day, and the Iowa FFP is proud to support the Iowa Games and help make the important connection between healthy activities, healthy food and the farmers who contribute to a healthy state.

“The Athlete Jamboree is the perfect venue to showcase our sponsors,” said Chuck Long, CEO and executive director of the Iowa Sports Foundation. “In keeping with our mission of making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation, this event is a great way to connect our athletes to all of the outstanding Iowa farmers who support us at the Food & Family Fair.”

Area farmers will be showcased at the Food & Family Fair as they answer questions and distribute complimentary copies of the Iowa Food and Family Cookbook, telling the story of agriculture through family traditions and tried-and-true recipes.

Meanwhile, athletes and children of all ages can pick up a “Zone Score Card” that will send them through a series of interactive stations to learn about all things food and farming. Iowa FFP partners and event sponsors of stations include the: Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Egg Council, Iowa Food Bank Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Select Farms, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association. Once each booth is visited, participants will turn in the score card to Iowa FFP’s “End Zone” for a chance at top prizes like Adventureland passes, Iowa State Fair tickets, gift cards and more.

A variety of talent acts and family-friendly activities will headline the evening’s events, including the Skyriders High Flying Trampoline Show, face painters, food trucks, inflatable games and a photo booth.

Following the Food & Family Fair, the opening ceremonies will showcase a parade of athletes, keynote speech by Long, lighting of the cauldron and fireworks to cap off the night. Admission to the opening ceremony is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under, with all proceeds going to the Iowa Food Bank Association to assist with food insecurity across the state. In 2015, opening ceremony ticket sales generated nearly $4,000 in donations, or approximately 16,000 meals for hungry families.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to again partner with the Iowa Summer Games and each of these agricultural groups,” said Cory Berkenes, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association. “Not only will we be able to join in the celebration of one of Iowa’s greatest traditions, we will also celebrate the awesome capacity of Iowans to care for one another.”

The Iowa FFP champions the continuous improvement of Iowa’s farm families and their dedication to providing wholesome food for everyone for the purpose of building greater understanding and confidence among food-minded Iowans. It proudly sponsors Live Healthy Iowa and supports the Iowa Games and is backed by more than 30 partners including each of the participating agricultural organizations, plus restaurants and retailers throughout the state.

For more information and a complete lineup of the evening’s events, visit iowagames.org. Feed your curiosity about all things food and farming via Twitter (@foodnfamilies) and Facebook (Facebook.com/foodnfamilies).