Farm Fresh Blog Welcome to Farm Fresh, Iowa Farm Bureau's blog about the people who bring you your food, fuel, and fiber, and the issues they face.

Farm Fresh blog

Welcome to Farm Fresh, Iowa Farm Bureau’s blog about the people who bring you your food, fuel, and fiber, and the issues they face. Learn more about the purpose of this blog and its relevance to you here.




Be good to your heart, and eat beef


It is true that most of us aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. Yet that doesn’t mean we should give up meat if we want to eat healthier.

Cow farts, climate change and what really stinks about celebrity diet advice


Just when you think you have things figured out, new information comes forward and proves you were wrong. Maybe it all comes down to where you started your search for answers.

Super Bowl ad shows need for education, not outrage


A feeling of dread set in as soon as I saw the words “corn syrup” emblazoned on a massive wooden barrel as one of Bud Light’s numerous Super Bowl commercials flashed on my TV screen.

Historically cold weather puts farmers’ commitment to animal care and water quality on display


In the past 24 hours, it seems like every outside-the-home activity in Iowa has been cancelled – classes, businesses, and even the U.S. Mail. Everything – except for a cover crop workshop in Ankeny last night and the round-the-clock livestock care I’m seeing all over social media.

Take “antibiotics” off your worry list in 2019


As a first-time mom, I've got plenty to worry about. Antibiotic use in livestock though doesn't make the list.

What foods are on the keto diet? More than avocados and “fat bombs”


I must belong to a target audience for fitness and weight loss, because I keep seeing ads online for diets promising to lose weight fast and easily.

A look back – and a look forward – as we close Iowa Farm Bureau’s centennial year


As Iowa Farm Bureau's centennial year wraps up, we look back at the past year's celebration - and forward to what's ahead.

Let’s give farmers a chance to do right


I think we all need to give each other a chance to prove we mean what we say and more should trust our best nature.

Who’s your Iowa farmer?


Beth Baudler, a young Iowa livestock and crop farmer, works with a small team to introduce us all to farmers, events and initiatives in the state through a Facebook page called Who’s Your Iowa Farmer?

How can you save money over the holidays? Start with your food choices


If we’re truly honest, a lot of us can’t afford all the holiday spending.

Other countries are thankful for Iowa-raised meat too


Americans aren't the only ones craving it...

If I need it, farmers grow it. That’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving


I’m pretty sure it’s a sign that my husband and I are officially a boring married couple when we come home from the grocery store excited about the deal we found on apples.

There’s no faking it on meat and milk labels


Iowans are known for their common sense and clear-headedness. So, it’s not all that surprising that in a recent survey of shoppers in the state, the Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index® found that a majority of Iowans believe that marketers of plant-based imitation products shouldn’t be able to use the terms “meat” or “milk” on their labels.

Iowa has more pigs than people? Sounds good to me


As we get ready to wrap up Pork Month—I want to let you in on a little secret…

Why Iowans aren’t buying into lab-grown “meat”


If a plant-based or lab-grown meat substitute was readily available to you at the grocery store, how likely would you be to purchase it, instead of actual meat?

Farmers: Our real-life superheroes


As parents, we want our kids to know that real-life superheroes don’t wear capes. We’re also thankful for the brave firefighters, police officers, military and vets, teachers, health care professionals and more who step up to protect and care for us in our time of need. I also believe that farmers deserve to be on the list of everyday heroes.

Young Iowans and Kosovans bond through agriculture


They are leading the way by seeking the larger picture and by forging international relationships. I’m

CRP may help my son “take his shot” in the future


Latest figures from DNR show this year’s Iowa pheasant population is the highest in a decade, with a projected statewide harvest of 250,000 to 300,000 roosters for hunters.

Road smarts: Sharing the road and keeping safe at harvest


The most important thing drivers can do is to be patient. Everybody has somewhere to be, but following too closely behind a combine or a tractor towing a grain cart or passing quickly could be hazardous. It’s often tough for farm equipment operators to see your car, and tractors and combines often make wide turns.

Hunger in Iowa: Take the #10gallonchallenge


We’ve all seen how the power of social media can turn a small idea into a nationwide movement.

Lean protein: Why pork is good for you


What many people may not realize, with “plant-based” diets getting so much attention, is that animal-based proteins are considered high-quality sources of lean protein.

E15 is back, but why was it gone for the summer?


Finding E15 in Iowa is easy. What's not easy is figuring out why Americans can't buy it year-round.

Why Iowa Farm Bureau supports ANF


This Saturday, through family-friendly tailgate games, about 40 young Iowa farmers will share how they grow crops or raise animals.

The lean years remind us of what it means to be “Farm Strong”


2018 ANF Wall of Honor inductee Aaron Kampman is a reminder that integrity and dedication can’t take a break during the down years.

Parenting and farming, a tale of differing opinions


Both lend their hand to the struggle of trying to find respect for diversity and individual choices

Please don’t feel guilty about your choice to eat meat


I want to assure conscious carnivores, and anyone who chooses to eat meat, that farmers take their role seriously and understand they must act responsibly.

Parents, former athletes can appreciate new concussion insurance benefit for high school athletes


The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), with support from the Iowa Farm Bureau, its title sponsor, announced the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance program for participants in IHSAA-sanctioned sports for the 2018-2019 school year.

Iowa’s Century Farms carry on family farming legacy


This year, more than 360 Iowa families will receive Century Farm awards, and 149 families will receive Heritage Farm awards at the Iowa State Fair.

Farmers markets contribute more than local food to Iowa communities


Iowa farmers markets not only provide customers with fresh fruit and vegetables to purchase but they also help foster community in small towns.

A century of supporting Iowa rural vitality


Iowa Farm Bureau isn't only known for being a leading advocate for agriculture and farm families, but also for supporting rural communities.

Adaptive Sports Iowa athletes truly represent “Farm Strong”


It takes courage to escape your comfort zone and face challenges head-on, whether you are conquering a week-long bike ride or enduring uncontrollable weather, markets and politics to keep on farming.

Iowans mount a "Farm Strong" response to devastating tornadoes


The communities impacted — our friends — have a lot of cleaning up to do. We’ll be there to help, because that’s what Iowans, do. We’re Farm Strong. It’s about sticking together, supporting each other in the good days and bad.

Making waves to benefit Iowa's water quality


Farmers use conservation practices to not only protect the land, but their families too.

"Peas" stop with the meat and dairy substitutes


Many meant and dairy substitutes are more complex than the real thing. Plant-based alternatives tend to have more ingredient and are highly processed.

Should we listen to celebs who weigh in on food and agriculture?


I don’t buy into their day-to-day drama, their special line of cleaning supplies or purchase their novels. And, I certainly do not trust their off-the-wall advice when it comes to food.

Reporting the truth - the whole truth - about farming and conservation


It seems that some reporters have adopted a "no good news makes the news" approach, especially when it comes to conservation progress in Iowa. Laurie Johns says Iowans deserve to hear about that progress.

Farmers sweat the details to keep livestock comfortable in the heat


Hot days with temperatures 90 degrees and higher means our family takes a dip in the pool to stay cool or finds activities indoors where it’s air conditioned. Just as we adjust our activities to keep our family cool and safe, livestock farmers are also adjusting to keep their animals safe during the soaring temperatures.

Antibiotics: OK for our families, but not livestock?


The truth of the matter is, even if antibiotics were not an option to treat sick animals, the case of antibiotic resistance in humans would not go away.

A protein boost for baby


While there are plenty of fruit and vegetable baby food options, proteins are harder to come by. But that may be changing after a new study from the University of Colorado was released touting the benefits of meat in an infant’s diet.

Backyard poultry, is it safer for human health?


Rather than “chicken out” on raising poultry, it’s important to take the time to learn about how to protect your family’s health.

What’s on your ag summer bucket list?


While a trip to a waterpark or a ball game is likely on your family’s summer bucket list, it’s also a perfect time of year to embark on hands-on learning about Iowa agriculture.

Betty Crocker bakes up some GMO sanity


Here's another big reason to cheer for Betty Crocker: the brand has placed itself firmly on the side of sanity about GMOs.

Lessons from trailblazing Iowa women — teaching the next generation to unite, not divide


In her new "Between the Lines" column, Laurie Johns explores the lessons from Iowa's trailblazing women that we can apply today.

The money-saving, economy-helping, environmentally-friendly choice at the pump


If your family will be on the road this holiday weekend, and your vehicle allows for it, I encourage you to try a higher ethanol or biodiesel blend at the pump and feel good knowing you’re making an environmentally-friendly decision and supporting Iowa communities, and saving money while you’re at it.

Four myths that need addressed this May Beef Month


It’s a good time to address a few myths about beef production, so we can all feel good about the summer grilling staple we love!

A century of strengthening Iowa’s youth


A lot has changed since 1918, but our commitment to the people, progress and pride of Iowa remains. There’s no better proof of that commitment than Farm Bureau’s decades-long investment in Iowa’s youth.

Nothing to sneeze at: research shows farm proximity can reduce allergy suffering


New research from the Netherlands shows that living on a livestock farm, or even close to one, may help protect people from common allergies.

Whether talking diet or conservation, it’s not one-size-fits-all


There’s so many factors that can affect success, that no single approach works for all.

From cow spotting to healthy food choices, ag lessons last a lifetime


Ag literacy aims to help us understand the role of ag in our daily lives - in the choices we make every day at the grocery store, the gas pump or the voting booth. That way, we can make informed decisions on important issues like water quality, farm production and nutrition...

Three surprising ways trees benefit Iowa’s landscape


During Arbor Day, both urban and rural-living Iowans should take time to appreciate the contributions and many purposes of trees in rural Iowa.

A “report” says avoid non-organic spinach—should you?


Spinach is a superfood packed with nutrients. Eat up!

It’s no surprise why Winneshiek County ranks #22 in the U.S. for healthiest community


See why this designation is a testament to agriculture.

Agriculture supports choices—and pregnancy diets!


There’s so many things to think about when you’re expecting your first baby, but I’ve promised myself not to drive myself too crazy over food.

Monarch conservation takes flight in Iowa


A collaborative effort called the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium is working to increase the habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators in the state.

You don’t farm, so why should agriculture and Farm Bureau matter to you?


Yes, farming and an organization that supports farmers probably don’t matter to you in the same way they mattered to your great-grandparents. But they do matter, differently (and just the same).

Is there a Russian accent to the opposition to GMOs?


The protests by activists against foods made with genetically-modified or GMO crop have always been a bit of a mystery to me. Why are activists so adamantly against crops developed through genetic modification which are proven to provide true benefits to consumers and the planet?

Women’s History Month: Recognizing Iowa’s "sheroes"


March is Women’s History Month, and the Iowa Farm Bureau is also celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. From its beginnings, the Iowa Farm Bureau has provided leadership opportunities for women, even before women had the right to vote in the United States.

Between the Lines -- Quality of Life in Iowa; A Glass Half-Full


People who call Iowa ‘home’ get it: it’s the land, the people, the wide-open spaces and yes, even the changing seasons that make Iowa great. For all these reasons and more, Iowa is the best place to live in the nation.

Less than honest tactics to sell? I’m not buying it


Research shows no matter what grocery shoppers choose, Iowa farmers are happy to provide, and there’s no need to “demonize” each other in the process.

It’s OK to be the World’s Okayest Mom


You know that “a-ha” moment when you stumble upon a piece of advice that completely describes what you’re dealing with in life right now?

Conquering one of my biggest farm fears


National Grain Bin Safety Week is February 18-24.

I propose "Meat Lovers Monday"


Instead of "Meatless Monday," I propose "Meat Lovers Monday" to celebrate the nutritional, tasty choices that meat and poultry provide.

Why are young farmers still flocking to a 100-year-old organization?


Like Farm Bureau, the Young Farmer Conference is constantly evolving (with new content, experts and entertainment each year) to continue to appeal to the latest crop of young farmers.

The raw milk debate: It’s not about choice, it’s about safety


Milk pasteurization, which is required by federal and Iowa law, is a process that heats up milk to kill any food-borne bacteria that could make us sick before the milk is bottled. Unfortunately, today’s “clean food” trend has made some people leery about processed foods, or any food that’s not sold in its natural state, including pasteurized milk.

Why does Iowa’s new water quality bill matter? Q & A with two Iowa farmers who attended Governor Reynolds’ bill signing


On January 31, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed her first bill, a bill that commits long-term, dedicated funding ($282 million over 12 years) to conservation and water quality improvements. Mark Kenney, a corn and soybean farmer in Story County, and Doug Adams, a Humboldt County farmer and soil conservation technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), were two farmers on-hand for the bill signing.

A career and lifestyle in agriculture is attractive to younger generations


There’s an emerging trend happening in the United States—millennials leaving cushy, 9 to 5 jobs in temperature-controlled office buildings to get their hands dirty, outside on the farm.

As a self-proclaimed cheese lover, do you know these "cheesy" facts?


It’s no secret our family is cheese fans, and we are not alone as 100 percent of Iowans say their households also eat cheese!

Celebrate Iowa Farm Bureau’s centennial by sharing your Farm Bureau story


When I say Farm Bureau took my career to great heights, I literally mean it...

Technology that saves piglets is rural Iowa’s latest triumph


Why is rural entrepreneurship in Iowa seeing a revival?

Farmers work to keep livestock warm during Iowa cold


Iowa’s livestock farmers are always “on-call” to to keep their animals healthy and comfortable, even during the worst of conditions.

This New Year, resolve to focus on healthy living, not a number on a scale


Even before the Christmas decorations are down, I hear my friends and family talking about how they plan to lose weight, start exercising and eat healthier in the New Year.

Like a teacher in a classroom, farmers raise livestock because it’s their passion


Farmers have always focused on animal well-being from a health, quality and food safety standpoint. But now, farmers are focusing more on animal behavior – for example, trying to give a cow what it needs “to be a cow.”

Iowa Farm Bureau is its members


It’s very clear to me that Farm Bureau’s success and legacy comes from the diversity and value our members bring to the organization.

The Iowa Farm Bureau: Nearly 100 years old and still young at heart


Our organization, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, just completed its 99th annual meeting and is getting ready for its centennial celebration in 2018.

Forget Black Friday, the best deals are on Thanksgiving Thursday


Sure, Black Friday deals are great. But I’d say Americans get an even better deal when they gather with their families for the traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day.

Aquaculture offers exciting new market in Iowa, but not without some obstacles


Four short years ago aquaculture surpassed beef production, creating opportunity for farmers looking to add value to their farms.

Beware of health advice from Dr. Google


If you have questions about your health, such as whether you need to be tested for glyphosate toxicity, then please talk to your doctor – and I don’t mean “Dr. Google.”

When it comes to food, grandmas do know best


When I scan the news about food trends these days I often wonder what my no-nonsense late grandmothers would think...

GMOs have purpose in food system


For about two years I followed a Facebook page run by a family farm in Iowa. Then, recently, they posted something that prompted me to unfollow them.

ISU student-athletes earn “Farm Strong” title away from the spotlight


The new Farm Strong Squad isn't your typical All-Conference or All-American team...

Farmer wave more than gesture—sign of support


I think the world could use a little more kindness, and it could all start with a simple wave.

#KeeptheStubble during No-Tillage November


The key points NRCS hopes to drive home with farmers is that bypassing tillage helps farmers save money, time, improve soil health and provide wildlife habitat.

Is the state of Iowa full of manure? Or, is that just hog wash?


I often hear people spouting off how much hog manure is produced on family livestock farms and making outlandish claims on how it is used. I’ve decided it’s high time we all consider new, factual sources to shed some light on the subject.

Seven things media needs to know about Iowa farming


A list of things reporters need to know to tell a credible story about Iowa agriculture.

Go slow, stay patient and be kind when sharing the road this harvest season


The bottom line: Farmers can’t see you, but you can see them. Slow down, stay patient and be kind.

Our farm, her legacy


To make it as a farmer, you need to be Farm Strong, filled with determination and a conviction that will lead you through life’s trials. To leave an enduring legacy, you need the strength, wisdom and foresight to foster those attributes in others.

A pig gave me 10 more years with Grandpa


I've always had an appreciation for animal agriculture, but I was floored by this revelation

Make a fresh start this fall with heart-healthy beef


A new study showing that lean beef can help in weight loss and weight management also caught my attention as I aim to eat healthier this fall.

What is my role on the family farm?


There’s so many ways that women contribute to agriculture, and I’ve come to find that there’s no such thing as a small job on the farm.

Celebrate Farmers Market Week! Meet the farmers who grow your food


My daughter and I started a new Saturday morning routine this summer. Whenever we have a free weekend and beautiful weather, we make a stop at the downtown Ames farmers market for a “second breakfast” (the best part of toddlerhood, if you ask me) before heading to the nearby kiddie pool.

How Yoga Pants Changed My Mind about Chemicals


As a gardener, I know that "chemicals"- such as pesticides and crop-protection products- are a necessity in growing safe, healthy food. Without pesticides, farmers would lose a significant portion of their food crops, which leads to food waste and rising costs at the grocery store

Poll finds Iowans trust Farm Bureau


I wasn’t aware that the Register had added Farm Bureau to a poll of Iowans about trust, but I’m not all that surprised about the result.

This home DIY brought to us by agriculture


A bathroom remodel takes muscle, time, patience and Iowa-grown crops and livestock

Northern Iowa farmers share RAGBRAI route sites


From crops to conservation and landmarks, cyclists have a chance to appreciate Iowa's diverse agriculture and beauty

What’s better? Iowa or California?


How a traveler's fascination of California agriculture and landscape turned into increased Iowa pride

Sharing the beauty of Iowa on a visit to Poland


In Poland, folks may not understand the fierce rivalry of Cyclone and Hawkeye fans or Iowa farmers’ dedication to either red or green tractors. But they can clearly see the pride that Iowa farmers have in their farms, their state and helping to sustainably feed, clothe and fuel the world.

Making cooking outdoors a fun family event this July 4th


Finding ways and time to bond and connect with family can be a real challenge, especially with working parents and children involved in countless activities. For many, the upcoming 4th of July holiday presents a great opportunity to gather with family and friends and enjoy some quality time outdoors and share a hot, fresh meal from the grill. For my family, it’s our tradition.

Food allergies, labels and misconceptions


When you eat out or shop at the grocery store, you probably don’t worry about whether the food you’re buying will give you hives or worse.

Then versus now


What do you recall about the summers of your youth? When I think of the summer of 1978, I remember bean walking with my ‘Girl Crew’ at dawn, trying to get a field done before the mid-day heat found us.

It’s the summer of pink pineapples


I find it interesting that in a time when many foods now carry “non-GMO” labels as a marketing gimmick to play up on the all-natural trend, people don’t seem to care much that the pink pineapple is a GMO. Instead, they are thrilled that it looks good on Instagram.