Iowa Ag Had Its Best Days Ever at the Iowa State Fair

By Lydia Zerby

The Iowa State Fair is always a fun time for families to make memories and discover new ways to interact with agriculture, and this year was no exception. Whether food, livestock, competitions, concerts or entertainment, the 2023 Iowa State Fair lived up to the theme, BEST DAYS EVER, during its 11-day celebration of everything Iowan. This year was the second-largest fair in its 169-year history, with attendance totaling 1,133,958 people!

The Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) saw thousands of fairgoers stop at the “Agriculture Is Iowa’s Masterpiece” exhibit in the southeast atrium of the Varied Industries Building.

Visitors took more than 2,500 photos at our “Picture Yourself on the Farm” photobooth, we handed out almost 24,000 promotional items at the trivia spin wheel and kids' table, and we exchanged nearly 18,000 tote bags for fairgoers subscribing to our free eNewsletter or “liking” Iowa FFP on Facebook.

Speaking of “likes,” Iowa FFP Facebook page gained more than 4,200 new followers, an increase of 9.7%, now topping out at more than 47,000 food-minded consumers engaged with Iowa FFP. Looking at the overall number of visitors to the Iowa FFP exhibit, we estimate that 2 in 3 were new to the Iowa FFP network.




A “Fairly” Quick Question

New this year, Iowa FFP offered a different “Question of the Day” for fairgoers to vote on. We asked voters about their grocery shopping habits, their views of Iowa agriculture, where they grew up, their social media habits and more. The activity prompted thought-provoking discussions and added another layer of engagement to the exhibit. Check out the results!

Sustainability Takes Center Stage

At the center of the fair exhibit was a fantastic celebration of Iowa agriculture created by eight local artists. Each artist created a mural masterpiece depicting sustainability in various forms, from shopping locally and feeding livestock cover crops to recycling materials into art and more!

Many exhibit visitors saw the artists’ work in various stages of completion. We’re proud to share the final pieces with you and appreciate the artists’ hard work. These murals will be placed in multiple to-be-determined locations around Iowa in collaboration with Iowa’s commodity groups that support Iowa FFP.

Ally Frame

Kathleen Roling


Kiki Curtis


Laura Todd

Lauren Dahl

Sarah Stott


Nicole James


Amy Thomas