While Iowa’s an agricultural state, some Iowans have lived their whole lives and never set foot on a farm. A program through the group “Farmers Feed US” invites all Iowans to learn more about the origins of their food along with the chance to win 12 months of free groceries. Justin Dammann, who farms near Essex in southwest Iowa, is one of eight featured Iowa farmers on a website that showcases their operations. “Listen to the video, see our farm and how we grow corn, soybeans and cattle and then answer the trivia question and register to win free groceries for a year,” Dammann says.
Everyone should know more about how the food they eat is produced, he says, in addition to how livestock are cared and how farmers work to protect the soil, air and water. The website features beef cattle, dairy cattle, turkey, corn, hog and soybean farmers from across the state. “We promote those products voluntarily through programs like the Farm Bureau or Farmers Feed US and tell our story, how we produce them and show America and the world,” he says. “If we didn’t think those products were safe, we certainly wouldn’t be feeding what we grow to our own children.” Among his crops, Dammann raises white corn, which is for human consumption. “None of that goes into the cattle market or the livestock market,” he says. “It’s kind of neat to see how the white corn is raised here in Iowa and is turned into white flour and then is used to make tortillas and tortilla chips. It’s neat to see that farmer’s gate-to-the-plate movement.”
The website offers an up-close look at eight Iowa farm families and a chance to tour their farms, in addition to the two grand prizes of free groceries for a year. The other farmers featured are: Russ Yoder, turkey farmer, Wayland; Eric and Emily Crossman, hog farmers, Ogden; Jim Brown, soybean farmer, Churdan; Pam Johnson, corn farmer, Floyd; Stephanie Dykshorn, dairy cattle farmer, Ireton; Matt Schuiteman, hog farmer, Sioux Center; and Tim Kaldenberg, beef cattle farmer, Albia. Learn more at the website: www.FarmersFeedUS.org/ia