DES MOINES, Iowa – Imagine sharing a meal made from recipes using locally-sourced ingredients off the farm, inside the historic Pioneer Livestock Pavilion during the Iowa State Fair. Iowa farmers are inviting 500 lucky guests to join them for Farm to Fair, Friday, August 16, 2019 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. The second annual event focuses on agricultural education and attendees will have an opportunity to eat, learn, engage and discover facts about Iowa farming and food grown in Iowa. With only two percent of the population farming today, this is their chance to sit next to a farmer and enjoy a meal made from locally-sourced ingredients. From beef, pork, corn, dairy, eggs, soybeans and turkey, it’s coming straight from the farm to the Iowa State Fair.
“Iowa dairy farmers are proud to bring dairy to life and share their dairy farm stories as part of this Iowa State Fair tradition,” Jenna Finch, Midwest Dairy farmer relations manager. “Celebrating dairy farmers’ devotion to dairy makes it easy to bring excellent experiences to the fair. This year we’re excited to partner with other Iowa agriculture groups to share our common voice.”
Dairy foods will be front and center at The Dairy Barn, which is one of the Iowa State Fair’s most popular concessions and owned by Iowa’s dairy farm families. The building, located north of the cattle barn, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Dairy Barn serves shakes, milk and hand-dipped ice cream. In 2018, more than 51,000 ice cream treats – including 19,000 shakes – were served throughout the fair. In addition, hand-dipped ice cream will be served at the second Dairy Barn location, which is in the Ag Building.
While vising the Ag Building, check out this year’s butter cow. Sarah Pratt, a teacher by trade, will be returning to the fair to sculpt 600 pounds of butter. This year, the world-famous Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will be accompanied by friends from Sesame Street. The sculptures were chosen in honor of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary. Fair-goers can watch and learn about the process of milking a cow every day at the “I Milked a Cow” exhibit presented by the Iowa State University Dairy Science Club. The booth is located in the Boulevard of Dairy Breeds, John and Emily Putney Family Cattle Barn. For $3, the general public can try out their milking talent on a live cow. Each year, the Iowa State Fair celebrates the more than 1,100 dairy farmers in the state who are contributing 15,370 jobs and delivering an overall economic impact of $3.88 billion produced and sold in Iowa.