Choose Iowa to be Featured at the 2023 Iowa State Fair

Choose Iowa will connect consumers to Iowa grown, Iowa raised and Iowa made food

DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 9, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will feature the Choose Iowa program throughout the 2023 Iowa State Fair. Choose Iowa is an agricultural marketing initiative to increase the visibility of Iowa grown, raised and made foods. By building on the growing demand for local foods, investing in value-added projects and helping consumers find and purchase Iowa food and beverages, Choose Iowa gives farmers access to new markets and shortens the distance between farms and plates.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for local foods, and Choose Iowa is where they will find it,” said Secretary Naig. “Choose Iowa is the state’s signature brand for Iowa foods, and consumers will soon begin to see the Choose Iowa logo at grocery stores, retailers, farmers markets and farm stands as well as on menus in restaurants. We invite fairgoers to learn more about Choose Iowa as they enjoy the 2023 Iowa State Fair.”

Choose Iowa Chats
Farmers and special guests from across Iowa who raise, grow and prepare the local food we enjoy will join us for Choose Iowa Chats on weekdays at 10 a.m. on the Ag Building stage. Each day will feature different speakers discussing timely topics pertinent to Choose Iowa.

Thursday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m.
Beginning and longtime farmer perspectives
Kate and Jacob Van Manen of Van Manen Sweet Corn and Fresh Produce in Kellogg, IA
Steve Kerns of Kerns Farms and Mangalitsa Estates in Clearfield, IA

Friday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m.
Bridging the gap from farm to consumer
Carmen Black and team from Local Harvest CSA at Sundog Farm in Solon, IA
Katie Olthoff of ChopLocal in Wayland, IA

Monday, Aug. 14 at 10 a.m.
How we get from farm to table
Steve Strasheim of Twisted River Farm in Mitchell, IA
Chef Jessica Baldus of Taste, The Bakery and Piggyback Smokeshack in Osage, IA

Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 10 a.m.
Farming isn’t all the do you see diversity in ag?
Chris Deal of Deal’s Orchard near Jefferson, IA
Ray Gaesser of Gaesser Farms near Corning, IA
Corrine Rowe of Rowe’s Red Cows and Meat Market near Dallas Center, IA

Thursday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m.
Connecting consumers with fresh foods from the farm
Jenni Birker with Birker Farms near Garrison, IA
Bob Howard with Country View Dairy near Hawkeye, IA

Friday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m.
What is Choose Iowa?
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig
Choose Iowa Program Director Beth Romer

Choose Iowa Brunch
The Iowa State Fair will be hosting a farm-to-fork brunch highlighting seasonal and local ingredients sourced from Iowa farmers and prepared by some of the state’s top chefs. The Choose Iowa Brunch, presented by Choose Iowa and Travel Iowa, will be a chance for guests to experience and learn about all things local - from meeting the farmers and enjoying the chef-crafted cuisine and exclusive cocktails to listening to live music and hearing from experts about Iowa agriculture. This fine dining experience will feature Iowa ingredients in a 3-course plated meal served by Iowa FFA students. Students in the ProStart High School Culinary Arts Program will also be helping the chefs behind the scenes. Proceeds from the brunch will support the Iowa FFA Foundation with local food programming and the ProStart Program. Tickets are limited.

Choose Iowa Coloring Calendar
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will recognize 16 Iowa students whose artwork was selected for inclusion in the 2023-2024 Choose Iowa Coloring Calendar. The ceremony will be held in the Agriculture Building at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 15. The Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received over 120 submissions from K-12 students across the state and 16 student artists were selected for the annual calendar. The free 2023-2024 calendar will be available to the public, while supplies last, at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s booths in the Agriculture Building and Varied Industries Building. A digital version of the calendar will also be available online.

Fair Booths in the Agriculture Building and Varied Industries Building
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has a presence in the Agriculture Building marked with large Choose Iowa banners as well as in the Varied Industries Building. Choose Iowa information will be available in both areas, and fairgoers can take a free “Picture yourself in Iowa agriculture” photo at the Ag Building. Choose Iowa Coloring Calendars will be available while supplies last.


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Don McDowell
Communications Director