The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the University of Iowa (U of I) Athletics Department have once again teamed up to raise awareness of the food and energy options that today’s farmers provide through the America Needs Farmers (ANF) campaign. ANF Game Day will be celebrated at Kinnick Stadium October 20 against Penn State.
During ANF Game Day, the U of I will unveil ANF Plaza located in the space between the west grandstand and the north grandstand of Kinnick Stadium and will feature its first inductee into the ANF Wall of Honor, former Hawkeye and Kansas City Chiefs player, Casey Wiegmann. “Casey was a natural choice as our first inductee,” said Hawkeye football coach, Kirk Ferentz. “He is a role model for other student athletes about the importance of persevering and always striving to do your best.” The ANF Wall of Honor recognizes former U of I student football athletes who exemplify the tenacity, work ethic and character of the Iowa farmer, qualities that have helped Iowa remain the leading agriculture state in the nation.
A key feature of the IFBF’s Legends Tent at Krause Family Plaza will be an autograph session of former Hawkeye/NFL players including Casey Wiegmann, Robert Gallery, Jared DeVries, Brad Banks and Tim Dwight, and U of I personalities Gary Dolphin and Ed Podolak to name a few. Although he won’t be able to attend ANF Game Day, a new supporter of the ANF initiative announced earlier this year is Dallas Clark.
“We are so honored to have these celebrities support our cause,” said Craig Hill, president of the IFBF. “The ANF initiative is an opportunity to reach new audiences about farming today and these players help us achieve that. We understand that consumers today are interested in knowing more about their food and that starts with farmers. There may be fewer of us than when Coach Fry launched ANF during the 1985 Farm Crisis, but there are also more challenges with a growing global population. We invite you to visit www.americaneedsfarmers.org
to learn more about your food and energy and the farm families who produce it.”
In addition to the autograph session, the IFBF Legends Tent will also feature games like Tailgate Toss where visitors can interact with Iowa farmers and earn a chance to win ANF prizes, or participate in a drawing for autographed ANF items. The tent will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the autograph session running from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
ANF Game Day will also help raise funds for the Iowa Food Bank Association, a collaboration of eight food banks which collect and distribute food and essential supplies to needy Iowans. “The ANF initiative has really helped the food banks,” said Executive Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association, Jordan Vernoy. “This year’s drought is already driving up food prices in some areas and that’s bringing even more families to our doors. These are proud, hard-working Iowans who want short-term help, not a long-term handout to put food on the table. ANF is helping us feed these Iowans, because every dollar donated helps provide three meals to our neighbors struggling against hunger.”
On ANF Game Day, ANF ‘Farm Strong’ merchandise will be available at Herky’s Locker Room outlets with an expanded assortment available at the Herky’s Locker Room location inside ANF Plaza. A portion of proceeds from the sale of ANF ‘Farm Strong’ merchandise goes to support the Iowa Food Banks.
ANF was first launched in 1985 during the height of the Farm Crisis by legendary Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry, who wanted to show an increasingly urban nation why agriculture matters. For more information about the Iowa Farm Bureau/U of I ANF partnership, click on www.americaneedsfarmers.org
. To learn more about the growing number of Iowans in need and ways to help, click on http://iowafba.org/