Sure, some folks visit the Iowa State Fair for the blue ribbons, funnel cakes and carnival rides. But Iowans know the real fair attractions are the hot beef sundaes, corn dogs and pork chops on a stick.

The Iowa State Fair is the place to feed our love of high-quality, Iowa-raised meats and to recognize the Iowa farm families who work year-round to provide nutritious, safe and protein-rich food for all.

This summer, fair-goers are invited to visit Farm Bureau Park at the 2019 Iowa State Fair to celebrate “Real farmers. Real food. Real meat.”

Farm Bureau Park, located east of the Varied Industries Building along the Grand Concourse, will offer fun games and prizes to highlight the benefits of animal-based proteins and introduce the Iowa farmers and families who raise it.

“Every day, farmers work to provide consumers with healthy choices,” says Dana Ardary, Iowa Farm Bureau marketing manager. “We want to get people talking about the benefits of meat protein and all the nutrition you can only get from animal-based proteins.”

Visitors to Farm Bureau Park will learn more about the nutritional benefits of animal-based proteins, as well as how Iowa livestock farmers work to protect the environment and the well-being of farm animals.

Fair-goers can enter for a chance to win a Traeger wood pellet grill and a meat bundle from Fareway grocery stores.

Fareway CEO Reynolds Cramer will also serve as a celebrity judge at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s annual Cookout Contest on Tuesday, Aug. 13 on the Grand Concourse of the Iowa State Fair.

Starting in August, Iowa Farm Bureau is teaming up with Fareway to celebrate “Real farmers. Real food. Real meat” in Fareway stores across the Midwest. Fareway’s in-store meat counter displays and delivery trucks will feature Iowa farm families who raise high-quality, safe and nutritious beef, pork and poultry.

Indeed, Iowans recognize the nutritional value of animal-based proteins. The recent Iowa Farm Bureau Food & Farm Index® shows that 99% of Iowan grocery shoppers purchase meat each week.

Nutrition experts say animal-based proteins are a good source of vital nutrients that are difficult to get from plants alone.

Important nutrients found in meat, dairy and eggs include B12, which helps maintain brain function; iron, which helps your body use oxygen; calcium, which is essential for bone health; and zinc, which benefits the immune system.

The high-quality, or “complete,” proteins found in animal-based foods — such as beef, pork, poultry, eggs and dairy— contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need and are easily digestible, experts say.

In comparison, most plant-based proteins are considered “incomplete” proteins because they lack one or more essential amino acids and are less digestible.

Research also shows that high-protein diets can help with weight loss and prevent muscle loss, which is especially important for those of us who are 40 and older, when our bodies start losing muscle.

For more information about upcoming “Real farmers. Real food. Real meat” promotions and contests, visit