The game was televised live on the Big Ten Network and featured a host of activities celebrating why America Needs Farmers, including a pre-game autograph session with former Hawkeye stars Jared DeVries, Casey Wiegmann, Tim Dwight, Marv Cook, Brad Banks, Matt Whitaker, Ed Podolak and Gary Dolphin at the Iowa Farm Bureau Legend's Tent in the Krause Family Plaza located immediately south of the stadium.
Other activities included Tailgate Toss with ANF prizes and the UI's first stadium `card stunt', where all fans in the four grandstands of Kinnick Stadium, on cue, held up cards and delivered two designs and messages (the American flag and America Needs Farmers logo) for the enjoyment of the 70,000 people in the stadium and the national television audience watching on BTN.
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.
"Farming has seen many innovations since then, which bring more food and energy choices and job opportunities to a new generation," said Craig Lang, a fifth-generation Brooklyn, Iowa dairy farmer and president of the Iowa Farm Bureau. "Today's farming isn't just about feeding people; it's about innovation in renewable energy, medicine, building materials, diagnostic tools, and more which combine what we know with what we grow."
Iowa farmers lead the nation in what they grow. "In less than a generation, the world's population will need 100 percent more food than we are growing today on a finite amount of productive land. IFBF is always looking for ways to show consumers how we plan to do that, while maintaining the integrity of the land, water, and rural communities where our farmers raise their own children," said Lang.
ANF game day was a win-win for Iowa's farmers and the University of Iowa Hawkeye football team: The Hawkeyes beat Big Ten rival Northwestern and Iowa farmers talked to football fans about agriculture.
For more information about the Iowa Farm Bureau/U of I ANF partnership, click here.