Meet the Players

Meet the Players For decades, the football program at the University of Iowa has filled its ranks with young men who grew up in the "Hawkeye State", and included among that roster were plenty of talented, driven young men who grew up on an Iowa farm or in a farming community. Their commitment to detail, acceptance of responsibility, sharp mind and solid work ethic were honed on farms of all sizes and in all corners of the state.

For decades, the football program at the University of Iowa has filled its ranks with young men who grew up in the "Hawkeye State", and included among those rosters were plenty of talented, driven young men who grew up on an Iowa farm or in a farming community. Their commitment to detail, acceptance of responsibility, sharp minds and solid work ethic were honed on farms of all sizes and in all corners of the state.

These hard-working young men remember the pride they felt when their farm heritage was shown to the world through the America Needs Farmers emblem. It's a feeling they carry with them today, long after they "swarmed" the playing field at historic Kinnick Stadium for the final time.

Their stories of what it takes to be Farm Strong are told here.

Bruce Nelson

Emmetsburg, IA
A Hawkeye from 1998 - 2003
Bruce Nelson grew up on a family farm near Emmetsburg, Iowa, where he helped his family grow crops and raise livestock. According to Nelson, there’s a lot similarities between farming and football. You’re always working with what the environment gives you and once you get that dirt under your fingernails, it’s hard to get it out. That desire to preserve lives on. No one knows that better than Nelson, who after retirement from the NFL, continues to farm in his hometown of Emmetsburg. Nelson talks about the importance of ANF and why he’s proud to be one of many Iowa farmers who are not only feeding the world, but fueling it too!


Nate Kaeding

Iowa City, IA
A Hawkeye from 2000 - 2003

Iowa City-native, and NFL Pro-Bowl kicker Nate Kaeding has joined the roster of former Hawkeye and NFL stars supporting the ANF campaign to raise awareness about the food and energy options that today’s farmers provide. He has spent quite a bit of time on his aunt and uncle’s Muscatine County farm growing up, which has led to his deep-rooted respect for today’s farmers. Kaeding talks about why farming is especially important to him today now that he has started a second career as a restaurateur.


Chad Greenway

Mt. Vernon, SD
A Hawkeye from 2001 - 2005

Chad Greenway grew up on a family farm near Mount Vernon, South Dakota, where he helped his family grow crops and raise pigs. The work ethic and determination he learned on the farm has helped all throughout his career. Just as he puts it on the line every game day, he knows first-hand that farmers put it on the line every day to grow our country’s food and fiber. Greenway talks about the importance of farming and how it’s the foundation on which our country stands.


Dallas Clark

Livermore, IA
A Hawkeye from 1999 - 2002

Dallas Clark, a small-town Iowa boy from Livermore, takes great pride in his Iowa upbringing. Growing up in Iowa taught him the value of hard work and that no obstacle is too hard to overcome, the very same values he took to the football field everyday while playing at the University of Iowa where he earned All-American honors and was recognized as the top college tight end in the nation. Clark talks about his love for the state of Iowa, our farmers and why he's proud to be part of this ANF initiative.


Jared DeVries

Aplington, IA
A Hawkeye from 1995 - 1998

Jared DeVries grew up on a family farm near Aplington, Iowa, helping his father grow crops and learning values like hard work, dedication and determination. He took his farm-learned work ethic on to the University of Iowa, where he developed into an all All-Big Ten defensive tackle (1995-1998) and second-team All American. DeVries talks about ANF, what it means to him, our state and our country.


Casey Wiegmann

Parkersburg, IA
A Hawkeye from 1991 - 1995

Casey Wiegmann grew up in Parkersburg, Iowa and although he never farmed, his father has worked for John Deere for the past 35 years, so farming and agriculture have always been a part of his life. As a kid he helped local farmers by detassling. Wiegmann played at the University of Iowa from 1991-1995 and earned second team All-Big Ten honors as an offensive linemen. Wiegmann shares his thoughts on ANF, why it's important, and what it meant for him to wear the decal while playing for Hayden Fry.


Matt Kroul

Mt. Vernon, IA
A Hawkeye from 2004 - 2008

Iowa farmers are innovators and it seems like every day, they find new ways to use cutting edge technology to improve the land and watershed. See what’s buzzing in farm fields across the state…


Mike Haight

Dyersville, IA
A Hawkeye from 1981 - 1985

Hap Peterson

Bettendorf, IA
A Hawkeye from 1981 - 1985

Mike Haight and Hap Peterson were Co-Captains of the one of the greatest Hawkeye football teams of all time: the 1985 Hawkeyes, a team that went 10-1, won the Big Ten championship, spent five weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation and went to the 1986 Rose Bowl. Haight, a former All-Big Ten offensive lineman, and Peterson, a former All Big-Ten defensive lineman, talk about Hayden Fry's idea of putting ANF on their helmets during the '85 season to show support for our country's farm families who were struggling through a major farm crisis.


Hayden Fry

Iowa Hawkeye Head Coach from 1979 - 1998