This year, visitors to Farm Bureau Park at the Iowa State Fair will learn how Conservation Counts in Iowa, while interacting with Iowa farmers who raise and grow our food and energy and playing games for a chance to win great prizes, including $1,000 in free groceries.
“We know that Iowans want to know more about how their food is grown and raised and why farmers farm the way we do,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) President Craig Hill. “That’s why we feature activities in Farm Bureau Park where consumers can visit one-on-one with Iowa farmers while having fun and winning a few prizes.”
One of the featured exhibits at Farm Bureau Park this year is the Conservation Station, where fair goers can see the effects of rainfall on soil covers and surfaces and compete in the ‘Poo Toss’ challenge.
Also during the Iowa State Fair, a record 344 family farms will be recognized as Century Farms and 86 will be recognized as Heritage Farms, through a long-time effort between IFBF and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). “With 98 percent of Iowa farms being family owned, it’s great to see so many staying in the family for multiple generations and reaching the status of a Century or Heritage Farm,” said Hill. “In order to keep farms in the family for multiple generations, these families are innovating and being good stewards to pass the farm on to the next generation.”
IFBF members will also enjoy a number of exclusive perks at the fair. Members who bring in a coupon from the Spokesman or Family Living will receive a free member thank you gift and have the opportunity to register for a chance to win a Cub Cadet zero turn riding mower.
Each new member who joins at the fair will receive $10 in free ethanol and be entered in a drawing for $2,000 in free ethanol. And, all Farm Bureau park visitors can take the Farm Bureau Member Benefits Challenge for a chance to win $1,000 in free groceries.
IFBF is again promoting the importance of healthy lifestyles by featuring a number of free blood pressure, cancer, hearing, balance, and other health screenings on select fair days. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, major cardiovascular disease is responsible for more than one third of the deaths of Iowans. Farm Bureau member benefit partner, Stroke Detection Plus, will be conducting a limited number of free EKG screenings on Tuesday, August 12, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A simple EKG screening can detect atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common type of irregular heartbeat, before it causes a stroke. AFib increases the risk of stroke five times, but a quick screening at Farm Bureau Park can help detect this condition before it causes a disability.
Young fairgoers will also find free entertainment at Farm Bureau Park as the Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Advisory Committee members offer a variety of free kids’ activities and prizes from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9.
Farm Bureau Park visitors are encouraged to learn more about Farm Bureau benefit partners and special member discounts on services and products including Morton Buildings, Case IH tractors, hay equipment and utility vehicles, Ford and Lincoln vehicles, Ready Mobile, and Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance available through Farm Bureau agents. The newest partner, Polaris, will be on site to answer questions about how members can save $200-$300 on Polaris off-road vehicles. Ford vehicles and Case IH tractors and utility vehicles that qualify for up to $500 in member exclusive savings will be in the park for members to check out.
Other special activities on select fair days include:
Saturday, Aug. 9
- 4:00 p.m., Governor’s Charity Steer Show in the Livestock Pavilion. Charity Auction immediately following
Tuesday, Aug. 12 – Farm Bureau Day at the Fair
- 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Farm Bureau’s 51st Annual Cookout Contest on the Grand Concourse, judging at 10:00 a.m., sample tasting to follow
- 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Free farm consultation services provided by Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers in Farm Bureau Park
- 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Morton Buildings Tent in Farm Bureau Park
- 9:00 a.m., Century and Heritage Farm Awards on the Century/Heritage Farm Stage
Thursday, Aug. 14
- 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Free business consultation services provided by Renew Rural Iowa, VentureNet Iowa and CIRAS (ISU Center for Industrial Research and Service)
Farm Bureau Park is located next to the Varied Industries Building, right off the Grand Concourse. For a complete listing of Farm Bureau activities at the fair, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com/statefair.