Questions and Answers: Iowa State Fair


With US Senator Chuck Grassley

Q: What can trade show-goers expect 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 innovations and achievements. Over 11 days, August 11-21, 2022, there’s something for everyone, from food to entertainment, games, rides and the cherished traditions that keep generations of Iowans coming back year after year. Spectators can enjoy livestock barn competitions including best of the best featuring Iowa cattle, sheep, hogs, poultry, horses and more. The Animal Learning Center offers urban neighbors the opportunity to see newborn farm animals at the fair every day. View exhibitions on photography, floriculture, beekeeping, food, fabrics and threads. and contests that include a chili cook-off, young stock judging, tall corn contest, and cornhole tournament. More than a million fairgoers from across the country are expected to stroll the 450-acre Iowa State Fairgrounds, where just about everything under the sun, moon and stars can be tasted, touched, seen, heard and smelled is. It’s the largest single event in Iowa, drawing people of all ages to enjoy acclaimed artists in the stands, over 50 new foods and more than 60 popsicle options.

Each year I look forward to visiting the famous butter cow in the farm building, helping the egg producers serve eggs on a stick, pouring iced tea to guests in the pork producers tent, and greeting Iowans as I walk the fairgrounds. As a lifelong family farmer, I particularly enjoy conversing with younger generations who take pride in caring for their animals and have qualified to exhibit them at the state show. As a senior US Senator from Iowa, I work hard in Washington, DC educating policymakers, the press and pundits that food doesn’t grow in grocery stores. With soaring food prices and growing uncertainty about food shortages due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it’s more important than ever to support our farmers – just two percent of the population – who work around the clock to produce enough food to feed 330 Feeding millions of Americans and people around the world.

Q: How does your work reflect the Iowans who attend the State Fair?

A: First of all, I am looking forward to being at the state fair again this year. As with my 99 County Meetings, I enjoy meeting Iowans face-to-face and hearing what they think. Representative government is not a one-way street. The contact with Iowans influences my work in the US Senate. For example, I will visit the cattle barn and speak to the producers in the Cattlemen’s Beef Quarters. Delicious prime ribs, burgers and hot beef sundaes are served here, which trade fair visitors look forward to from year to year. Cattle ranchers in Iowa raise high-quality beef but get pennies on the dollar by marketing their cattle to the Big Four meatpackers, which control 85 percent of the market. I am leading two bipartisan bills through the Senate to create transparency and restore competition to the marketplace. That Meat and Poultry Special Investigators Act and Livestock Price Determination and Transparency Act consisted of the Senate Agriculture Committee this summer. Long before beef producers and consumers were hit by 40 years of high inflation, cozy relationships between the consolidated meatpacking industry and large feedlots were teetering on independent producers and resulting in higher prices for consumers at the grocery store. Thanks to strong grassroots support from consumers and Iowa ranchers, we’ve built a strong bipartisan coalition, and I’m working to get those 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 liberties. It is a privilege to represent Iowa veterans in the US Senate, where I use my seniority and leadership to ensure the federal government keeps the promises it makes to the men and women who have served in the US Armed Forces have, including the reserves and the National Guard. Thousands of Reservists and members of the Iowa National Guard have given up their civilian lives to serve our country in recent years, and some have made the ultimate sacrifice. From my work uncovering records of Vietnam veterans missing on the ground to overseeing the VA and its patient waiting scandal, I work to hold government accountable and provide resources and services to help veterans reintegrate into civilian life help, including mental health and suicide prevention. Recently, I voted every opportunity to support the Honoring Our PACT Act to ensure veterans exposed to toxins while serving in the military receive proper medical care and benefits. From farmers to veterans, entrepreneurs, and young people proud of 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 listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The fair runs from August 11 to 21, 2022.


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