AMES, IA – Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Farm Strong® initiative has always been about connecting consumers to the hard-working men and women who grow and raise their food today. That’s why the Iowa State University Athletics Department is pleased to join IFBF in a partnership that will help share the story of today’s farm families, while recognizing exceptional ISU student-athletes who embody the character and work ethic of the Iowa farmer, both on and off the field.
The partnership, in collaboration with Cyclone Sports Properties, Iowa State’s multimedia rights holder, was announced today at a news conference in Ames.
“By teaming up with Iowa State’s many successful athletics programs, we are able to showcase the Farm Strong® character of Iowa’s farmers with a whole new audience of consumers; ISU fans who want to know more about how their food, fuel and fiber is grown,” said Craig Hill, IFBF president. “More and more consumers are removed from the farm so it’s understandable that they have questions about today’s agriculture. Farming may look different today than years’ past, but the values that make Iowa farmers Farm Strong® – hard work, commitment, integrity – have not changed. Those are the same characteristics shared by many Iowans. The partnership with Iowa State is one more way Iowa farmers are trying to provide answers.”
In addition to creating dialogue with consumers about farming today, Cyclone head coaches have selected one individual from their respective teams to be part of a Farm Strong® squad, an elite group of student-athletes, who exemplify the perseverance, work ethic, and character of the Iowa farmer, the same qualities that have helped Iowa remain a leading agriculture state in the nation. One team member will be honored at the end of the year as the Farm Strong® captain at the annual Iowa State Student-Athlete Awards banquet.
“We are proud to partner with Farm Bureau and recognize the achievements of our Farm Strong® squad members,” said Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard. “We plan to feature the student-athlete squad and Iowa’s Farm Strong® families in various ways throughout the year including a special display inside Hilton Coliseum, which we’ve recently unveiled as well as radio, TV, a specialized web site and through social media. Fans will also have a chance to win some great prizes.”
While fans cheer on Coach Hoiberg and Coach Fennelly’s successful basketball squads this winter, they will also have an opportunity to celebrate a Farm Strong® family featured during select basketball games with video board graphics and messages. “More than 90 percent of Iowa’s 88,637 farms are family owned, and we are excited to showcase the videos featuring Farm Strong® families to Cyclone fans and provide a snapshot into Iowa agriculture and the families who raise our food, fuel, and fiber,” said Hill. “According to the latest Ag Census, one in five Iowans are employed because of agriculture, showing just how important our industry is to the state. We are pleased to have Iowa State Athletics partnering with us to celebrate the men and women who go the extra mile to not only grow safe, wholesome food, but to protect the land and legacy of rural Iowa,” he added.
The collaboration between IFBF and Iowa State Athletics will also benefit the Iowa Food Bank Association through donations and sales of Farm Strong® merchandise. Fans can purchase Cyclone-themed Farm Strong® merchandise and apparel from Cy’s Locker Room beginning this week and online within a few weeks. To learn more about the Farm Strong® program, visit cyclones.com.
About Iowa Farm Bureau
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa. More than 156,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online Newsroom page at www.iowafarmbureau.com. Farm Strong® is a registered trademark of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.