I am embarrassed to say I used to shy down when someone asked me if I was from that “corn state.” It was not until I learned more about the agriculture industry, and lost my “cool card” I was hanging on to, that I proudly affirmed.
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, made a call to action addressed to all Iowans.
“Find your Iowa pride, that’s great, but I think we need to take it to the next level,” Byers said. “It needs to be what I call the Iowa swagger: What can we do to really own the future of agriculture?”
Byers told a story at the Iowa State Fair about his background in Iowa agriculture and how he incorporates his agriculture values at work.
“It is really important for me to have urban and rural Iowa work together,” Byers said.
This is something Byers said he takes to work with him every day. The Cultivation Corridor started a couple years ago with that idea in mind. By promoting Iowa’s resources, the Corridor is able to create opportunity for growth in the entire state, but the Corridor should not be the only ones promoting Iowa.
One call to action that Byers brought to the table was that all Iowans should be proud of their agriculture backgrounds.
“We have people downplaying our agricultural roots,” Byers explained. “Not only do we need to be proud of our agriculture roots, we need to be the leaders of agriculture of the future!”
There is so much to brag about! Iowa is the number one producer of corn, soybeans, pork, eggs and ethanol. We rank 6th in the nation’s lowest cost of doing business, and business is booming.
Not every Iowan involved in agriculture necessarily farms. There are many other business opportunities in the state to engage in agriculture. Iowa is home to Iowa State University, John Deere, Kemin Industries, DuPont Pioneer, Sukup Manufacturing, Kent Corporation and Vermeer Corporation to name a few.
When people think of Iowa, they should think, “that agbioscience and biotechnology state.” I challenge every Iowan to promote their home, and Iowa’s vast amount of resources needed to feed the world.
“We are the world powerhouse for agriculture,” Byers said. “That is really what the Cultivation Corridor is all about.”