Les Grundmeyer re­­members how much it meant to Iowa farmers like himself when Hawkeye football coach Hayden Fry placed the "ANF," or America Needs Farmers, sticker on player’s helmets during the 1980s farm crisis.

So when Grundmeyer was offered a chance to repay Coach Fry for recognizing farmers in their time of need, he immediately said yes.

"I wanted to do it because I thought ANF was a great idea in 1985, and I still do. It promotes agriculture," said Grundmeyer, a University of Iowa graduate and Buchanan County Farm Bureau member.

Grundmeyer, a farmer and woodworker from Aurora, started building toy barns as a hobby after he retired from raising hogs about five years ago. Last fall, he crafted a miniature 1950s farmstead, complete with 14 different farm buildings, and decided to display it at the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville.

On the second day of the show, visitor Joe Tonkinson stopped to admire Grundmeyer’s handiwork. He asked Grundmeyer if he ...