Apparently, corn is having a moment right now. It started last summer, when the world was introduced to the “Corn Kid,” a cute 8-year-old who shared his love for corn-on-the-cob (“It has the juice!”) on TikTok.

A few months later, a new Broadway musical called “Shucked” debuted in New York. The musical, which recently won a Tony award, is set in Midwest farm country and is filled with “corn-y” puns. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Many theater-goers arrive to the show in overalls and corn-themed costumes. They can order corn-inspired cocktails named “Corn to Be Wild” and “Chilled Gin of the Corn.”

Honestly, it’s about time that corn gets its time in the spotlight. Kale and avocado have enjoyed their viral moments. Now let’s show some appreciation for corn, the workhorse of crops.

When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me that the corn we grew on our farm would end up as Corn Flakes cereal.

And he was right, although that’s only one of hundreds of uses for corn grown here in Iowa.

Farmers grow all this glorious corn for a variety of uses – as livestock feed to provide high-quality meat, poultry and dairy; to produce ethanol fuel for our cars; as an ingredient in medicines, household essentials, cosmetics; and so, so much more.

Like many Iowans, I drive past cornfields every day. I sometimes let my mind wander and think about where that corn will end up. For instance, one row out of every five rows of corn is exported overseas, according to the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

Here in Iowa, farmers grow corn better than anywhere else in the United States – and across the globe – thanks to our rich, black soils and our many generations’ worth of ag knowledge, experience and conservation progress.

Iowa farmers remain committed to continuous improvement to ensure the safety, nutrition and sustainability of the food – including corn and corn-fed beef and pork – that they grow for us all.

To learn more about how farmers work to ensure meat quality, food safety and farm animal care, visit the “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat” website.

And if you’re visiting the Iowa State Fair this summer, be sure to stop by Farm Bureau Park, located on the Grand Concourse. Stop by and say hello, play games and register to win prizes, including $500 in free groceries. If you’re a Farm Bureau member, you can also enter to win $2,500 in free groceries plus $2,500 in free fuel. You can buy a lot of corn with those winnings!

Teresa Bjork
Editor, The Iowa Dish

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