Q&A: Iowa State Fair

With US Senator Chuck Grassley

Q: What’s in store for carnival attendees at the Iowa State Fair?

A: For generations of Iowans, the Iowa State Fair is one of the most anticipated events of the year to celebrate our agricultural heritage, industrial innovation and achievements. Over 11 days, from August 11-21, 2022, there’s something for everyone, from food to entertainment, games, attractions and the cherished traditions that keep generations of Iowans coming back from one year to the next. Spectators can enjoy competitions in the livestock pens, including the best of the best with Iowa cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, horses, and more. The Animal Learning Center offers city neighbors the opportunity to watch newborn farm animals being born at the fair every day. View exhibits featuring photography, floriculture, beekeeping, food, fabric, and thread; and competitions that include a chili cook-off, judging of juvenile cattle, big corn contest, and a cornhole tournament. More than a million carnival visitors from across the country are expected to stroll the 450 acres at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, where just about everything under the sun, moon and stars can be tasted, touched, seen, to hear and smell. It’s the largest event in Iowa, attracting people of all ages to enjoy acclaimed performers on the Tribune, more than 50 new dishes, and more than 60 food-on-a-stick options.

Every year I look forward to visiting the famed Butter Cow in the Agriculture Building, helping egg producers serve eggs on a stick, serving iced tea to customers in the pig producer’s tent, and greeting Iowans as I tour the fairgrounds. walk. As a lifelong family farmer, I especially enjoy talking to younger generations who take pride in caring for their animals and are qualified to display them at the State Fair. As a senior U.S. Senator in Iowa, I work hard in Washington, DC, educating policymakers, the press, and experts that food doesn’t grow in supermarkets. With the rising cost of groceries and growing uncertainty over food shortages caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever to support our farmers – just two percent of the population – who work 24/7 to produce enough food to feed 330 million Americans and people around the world.

Q: How does your work reflect Iowans’ presence at the State Fair?

A: First of all, I am looking forward to going to the State Fair again this year. Like my 99 county meetings, I enjoy meeting Iowans in person and hearing what’s on her mind. Representative government is a two-way street. Connecting with Iowans provides information about my work in the United States Senate. For example, I go to the cattle shed and talk to producers in the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters. Here they serve delectable prime rib, burgers, and hot beef sundaes that carnival goers look forward to from one year to the next. Ranchers in Iowa raise high-quality beef, but get pennies on the dollar when they market their livestock to the Big Four meat packers that control 85 percent of the market. I am sending two bipartisan bills through the Senate to bring transparency and restore competition to the market. The Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act and Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act disappeared from the Senate Agriculture Committee this summer. Long before beef producers and consumers were plagued by 40 years of high inflation, snug relationships between the consolidated meat packaging industry and large feedlots confused independent producers and led to higher prices for supermarket consumers. Thanks to strong grassroots support from Iowa consumers and ranchers, we’ve built a strong bipartisan coalition, and I’m working to get these bills across the finish line this fall.

The State Fair also honors the service and sacrifice of Iowa veterans. The Veterans Parade pays tribute to our men and women who have answered the call to serve and protect our freedoms. It is a privilege to represent Iowa veterans in the United States Senate, where I use my seniority and leadership to ensure that the federal government keeps its promises to the men and women who have served in the United States armed forces, including the reservations and the national guard. Thousands of reservists and members of the Iowa National Guard have suspended their civilian lives in recent years to serve our country, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. From my work tracing records for missing Vietnam veterans, to my oversight of the VA and the patient waiting scandal, I work to hold the government accountable and provide resources and services to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life, including mental health and suicide prevention. Recently, I voted every opportunity I got to support the Honoring Our PACT Act to ensure that veterans exposed to toxins during their military service receive appropriate medical care and benefits. From farmers to veterans, entrepreneurs and young people who take pride in their accomplishments, I encourage Iowans to attend the State Fair and celebrate the best our state has to offer.

The Iowa State Fair takes place on 450 acres that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The fair runs from 11-21 Aug. 2022.

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