There isn’t a spot on the Iowa State Fairgrounds where you can’t look around and see food vendors. The smells come wafting down the street no matter the time of day or the weather conditions. Honestly, some of the offerings taste far better than they smell, but there’s no mistaking that there is something for everyone to eat at the fair. However, the story of food doesn’t begin and end with the vendors; that is just the final stop to get to you.

Agriculture is on full display at the fair as well. It is that opportunity to help tell the story of Iowa Farmers and the work they do to provide a safe and sustainable food source for our consumers. It helps us showcase the efforts we are making to better the quality of the air, land, and water, and how we strive to pass on the best we can to the next generation.

Part of that farm-to-fork story is in the supply chain. During the pandemic, we saw glaring discrepancies and places where improvement was needed. Theresa Greenfield is the Iowa State Director of USDA Rural Development in Iowa, and she talks to fairgoers about the work USDA is doing to close the gaps and increase the offerings to consumers all across the state.

The pandemic highlighted the severe shortage we have in meat processing in small towns. We have seen the resurrection of the local meat locker.

The work USDA is doing doesn’t stop there. Greenfield invited fairgoers to stop at the USDA booth inside the Ag building and see what is being done on conservation, food supply, and more.

The Iowa State Fair runs through August 20th in Des Moines.

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