Two Wheels and Pork

Two Wheels and Pork
What do 750,000 bikers, chrome, custom choppers, and a small town in South Dakota called Sturgis all have in common with Iowa agriculture? Much to my surprise: pork!

If you’re not familiar with the Sturgis Rally, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, it is a week long celebration of everything on two wheels. People come from all over the U.S. and other countries to ride the winding scenic roads of the Black Hills, talk motorcycles with other enthusiasts and enjoy the biker environment.

After making my annual journey from Des Moines to Sturgis last week on my Harley-Davidson softail, I was slightly surprised to see a banner hanging prominently over thousands of motorcycles across Main Street declaring: ‘Pork the official meat of the Sturgis motorcycle rally!’

When I read the banner through the smoke and sound of chugging choppers, I instantly had a smile come to my face.

The day before, some 750 miles away, I visited a century farm in eastern Iowa and took pictures of a farmer with his barn full of hogs for a newspaper story. Almost everyday I’m reminded of the pride that farmers have in raising safe, affordable food for all types of families. And that day on Main Street in Sturgis I could see the end result: pork producers that were providing great tasting food to these leather-clad masses.

Sturgis connection to pork makes a lot of sense. Harley has always been a leading motorcycle force at the rally and owners of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, like myself, often belong to the Harley Owners Group or HOG for short. You have to love attending HOG meetings throughout the year and looking at all of the hog logos, and of course, eating excellent pork!

As an Iowan I’m proud to be a member of the Des Moines Chapter #2253 of H.O.G. I’m also proud that my great state is the top pork producer with farmers who fuel riders as they enjoy the freedom of being out on the open road, just has they provide a choice of safe, affordable food for consumers around the world.

Written by Joe Murphy
Joe is a photographer and writer for Iowa Farm Bureau.