Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, two lucky Iowans from Ottumwa and Osceola will enjoy “Free Groceries for a Year!” from the Iowa Farmers Feed US grocery sweepstakes offered by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and grocery partner, Fareway Stores, Inc. The two winners, whose names were drawn at random from more than 93,000 Iowa consumer registrations during October, are Stacey Manternach of Ottumwa and Mark Mason of Osceola.
Stacey Manternach of Ottumwa may be a teacher, but she’s also an Iowan who is always open to learning. She visited the Iowa Farmers Feed US website (www.farmersfeedus.org/ia
) after learning about the opportunity to win $5,000 in free groceries. Once there, she also learned more about the people who raise the food she finds at the store.
“I was very impressed with the website and I liked being able to learn more about the families and farmers featured there,” said Manternach. “I liked learning about their histories and being from Iowa, I have the upmost respect and appreciation for our farmers. I started by visiting the farmer closest to me, which was Tim Kaldenberg who raises cattle near Albia.”
The website features beef cattle, corn, dairy cattle, hog and soybean farmers from across the state, each sharing information about their farm and family. The campaign also featured the farmers on Facebook and Twitter.
“My family was involved in the Iowa Farmers Feed US project because we understand that while not everyone is involved in raising food, nearly everyone is interested in seeing how animals are cared for, how crops are raised and how we protect Iowa’s soil, air and water,” explained Justin Dammann, who raises cattle, corn and soybeans in Page County. “The website offers that opportunity for people throughout Iowa, many of whom have never been on a farm.”
Manternach agreed, “I didn’t know a lot about farming before this and it was neat to learn how Iowa leads the nation in many areas.” She also is thinking about how she can use the site and its information in her classroom. “I have so many students who are interested in farming and agriculture, I would like to find some classroom opportunities to use this information,” she said.
Although the winners have been chosen, Iowans can still visit www.farmersfeedus.org/ia
to learn about Iowa agriculture and take virtual tours of different types of family farms. Additional Iowa agriculture groups supporting this initiative include the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Midwest Dairy.