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Fair Life – August 8th: Top 10 Must’s at the 2012 Iowa State Fair

Fair Life, is a featured series I’m writing on the 2012 Iowa State Fair. I’m going to try to post something different each day I’m at the fair that features some behind-the-scenes looks at different aspects of the state fair along with factual information.

Today I’m listing 10 things you should do/see while you’re at the fair! How many of these things have you done?

5) Ride the Skyglider. The skyglider is a relaxing way to take in the view and enjoy a sunset behind the grandstands and the midway.
4) Ride the Windstream Tram. If you’re tired of walking, hop on the Tram! The tram constantly runs throughout the fair, although there might be some delays on the nights when they have the horse events going on. I enjoy taking a lap around the fair every night once I get off of work on the tram, and just watching all of the people!
3) Play in the Fountains. Here you can see many kids play in the water on a hot and sunny fair day. Release that inner-kid still inside of you! Have fun and cool down!
2) Eat Barksdale Cookies!
1) Eat something on a stick! Did you know that there are over 50 things on a stick? If you aren’t into something on a stick, just have fair food in general!

5) The fireworks after the grandstand show! (If you’re still here this late!) The grandstand usually gets done around 11. I personally like to watch them from the eco-hill area.
4) See the Bill Riley Talent Show. Along with the Share-The-Fun show put on by Iowa 4-H’ers in the 4-H Building, you too can see some of Iowa’s most talented performers performing various acts on the Bill Riley Stage everyday at noon.
3) Visit the Cultural Center and look at the Open Class Photography. You can see the amazing photography that youth and adults took throughout the year. Even if you have 1 photo showed here, you are outstanding, because the statistics are strongly against you. There are only about 300 photographers that have at least a picture accepted out of the 4000+ photographers.
2) Visit the air-conditioned 4-H Building! In the 4-H Building, you can see the projects ranging from photography to can cows that Iowa 4-H Members took to their county fairs that was selected the best of the best. The 4-H Building also features a cooking competition and a robotics challenge! There are also communications exhibits such as hands-on working exhibits, educational presentations, and even our version of the Bill Riley Talent show, that we call Share-The-Fun going on almost everyday!
1) Visit the Butter Cow and the other butter sculptures! This year’s special butter sculptures feature Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs. You can learn more about the butter sculptures by reading yesterday’s post.

Fair Life – August 7th: Butter Cow

Fair Life, is a featured series I’m writing on the 2012 Iowa State Fair. I’m going to try to post something different each day I’m at the fair that features some behind-the-scenes looks at different aspects of the state fair along with factual information.

How many of you have heard of the one and only Iowa State Fair Butter Cow? How many of you have seen it?

If not, watch the video below where I interviewed Sarah Pratt last year and talked with her about 4-H and the Butter Cow! Did you know last year was the 100th birthday of the Butter Cow? Man, that’s one OLD cow!

This year’s butter special butter sculpture is of Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs, along with the yearly Butter Cow. Watch for photos as I’ll try to include them in this post, but am not making any promises.

Sarah Pratt – Iowa State Fair Butter Sculptor.

Fair Life – August 6th: ISF Food on a Budget

Fair Life, is a featured series I’m writing on the 2012 Iowa State Fair. I’m going to try to post something different each day I’m at the fair that features some behind-the-scenes looks at different aspects of the state fair along with factual information.

Since I’m going to be LIVING at the fair for 2, that’s right, TWO FULL WEEKS, I’d thought I’d share with you what I like to eat and my usual meals (That won’t break your budget.) I eat almost all of my meals for <$5! Here’s my secret places to get great fair food, with great prices, and support local organizations & farmers!

Breakfast: There are 2 options for Breakfast at the Iowa State Fair.

Option 1 is the Turkey Grill. The Turkey Grill has an amazing breakfast item that’s only a $1! It is a turkey link on a stick with a pancake around it (much like the pancake and sausage on a stick, but instead of sausage, it’s turkey!). They also garnish it with some powdered sugar. You sure can’t beat the price, while supporting Iowa’s Turkey Farmers!

Option 2 is the Methodist Church Food Stand. Nothing can beat the cooking of the local church goers who’ve all been blessed as great cooks. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) Anyway, they make a mean Biscuits and Gravy ($4), and their service is speedy as well!

Lunch: There are also 2 options I usually have for lunch.

Option 1 consists of the Beef Quarters. This is where longtime broadcaster Mark Pearson hosted The Big Show. It’s here that I like to order the Hot Beef Sunday. The Hot Beef Sunday consists of mashed potatoes, gravy, cheese, pulled beef roast slices, and a tomato on top.  Come support Iowa’s Beef Producers!

Option 2 consists of my favorite place, the Iowa Pork Tent! It’s here where I get my mouth-devouring pork! I have been hooked on the Pork Loin sandwich the past few years. Also here are the delicious pork-sliders! Both are under $5! It’s here where you can learn more about the people that produced your delicious meal, support Iowa’s Pork Producers, and maybe even catch the next president or a congressman! Did you know that a fairgoer receives a pork product EVERY 4 seconds?

Dinner: Dinner is pretty much the same as lunch, but I usually go to the other place.

Treats: There are many places I like to go have some amazing treats…

Barksdale Cookies are #1. I might even go as far as to say they beat Cookies Etc. They come in cups or buckets. The cups are $4 and the bucket is $15. This year I’m going to try to get a BUCKET of them! Screw the cup, you only live once! It’s not the state fair if you don’t eat unhealthy!

Po Boy’s Sweet Potato Fries are my #2 favorite “snack” at the fair. They are tastey, delicious, and somewhat healthy.

The 2012 Iowa State Fair Fact-Countdown!

Hey people, the Iowa State Fair is ALMOST here! This year I get to experience PRE-Fair (since the whole fair last year wasn’t enough). I get to live and work at the Iowa State Fair August 6th – 19th 20th! (And I’m going down on the 5th for the photography salon reception since I had all 3 of mine selected!

My friend Evan is also doing a countdown. I thought you’d might enjoy it, so here it is….

14 Days: Alright, in excatly 14 days the greatest Iowa tradition begins! The Iowa State Fair!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I thought that for this year I would countdown the days on Facebook and have interesting and cool facts about the fair or new attractions for this years fair. Why you may ask? Because this is how much I love Iowa and the State Fair!!!!!!!
Fact: This year’s fair is bringing in new foods, like they do every year, these are some I am sure to try. Gourmet s’mores, available at Beaverdale Confections, Caribbean-style crab fritters, available at Ollie’s Crab Fritters, Chocolate covered chocolate chip cookie dough pops on-a-stick, available at Dipped in Chocolate and, of course something way unhealthy but why not try it its the fair, Double Bacon Corn Dog, available at the Campbell’s stand.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more!!

13 Days: The fair has a new attraction this year and that is the ZIPLINE! For 7 dollars a person you can leap from the 28-foot tall tower and fly 130 feet across the grounds. C’mon lets be honest, all us crazy people want to try this!!!

12 Days: The state fair has been popular for quite some time. So popular that in 1945 they made a movie about the Iowa State Fair. Its a musical movie named State Fair about a family coming down to the fair and each of the four having their own adventures. It was a huge hit, even won an Oscar, it was a big hit for many years. From that movie the Fair got a theme song. How many of you know what it is? Adults, as in over 30, are not aloud to answer cause you will probably know what it is.

11 Days: Over the years many great performers and entertainers have come to the fair and entertained thousands. But some big names didnt start off performing at the grandstand, some performed at free stages first, before they were big artists. John Michael Montgomery, Gary Allen, Dierks Bentley, and The Band Perry are just some that started off performing at free stages and then came back a few years later and performed at the grandstand. Hey Hunter Hayes is performing at a free stage this year, maybe he’ll come back and perform at a the grandstand. Anyone going to a grandstand show this year?

10 Days: Every year the Fair seems to do some kind of coupon day or discount. Well this year on the first day of the Fair admission is free!!! But you have to have the coupon from the Des Moines Register. The Register will be printing said coupons on the sunday before the fair and the day before the fair. Also the time window for this free admission is from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. It is early but for the Fair and to save some cash, im perfectly willing to wake up early!!! And if you get there early, all the cool stuff wont have lines!

9 Days: Baby Mine. Baby Mine was a 4 ft, 1,160 baby elephant that 15,000 Iowa children helped purchase for the fair. The kids sent in nearly $1,000 dollars in nickels and dimes. The Register and Tribune, the Iowa State Fair Board and others assumed the rest of the $3,600 dollar cost. Baby Mine debuted at the 1929 fair and 25,000 children showed up the first day of the Fair to greet him. Wish we had an elephant this year. Thanks to because I was to lazy to write it all out lol.

8 Days: Alright Fair time is getting closer so today im going to put in a whole bunch of random facts just so im sure they get mentioned. Fact 1 the Fair grounds are about 445 acres, with 160 acres for camp ground (go State Fair Camping!!). Fact 2 the Fair has used the same spot since 1886 meaning that the Fair has been in the same spot for 126 years this year. But the Fair is 158 years old! Fact 3 has the Fair ever been cancelled? Yes in 1898 because of the Worlds Fair in Omaha, and 1942 to 1945 because of World War 2. Fact 4 Garth Brooks was a quick replacement for Ricky Van Shelton in 1990, he was such a huge success he came back in 1991 and 1993. Fact 5 (the food fact) Guess how many foods are on a stick at the Fair…………..Give up? Ok. The answer is more than 50!! Go to, go to trivia and see what is all on a stick. Fact 6 the Fair is listed in the Top 100 things to do in America before you die.
I would like to say that some of these facts I know, some I get from a book on the fair that my grandma has, and the others I get from the website listed above.

7 Days… Only a week away! Alright only one week left!!! Whos excited? Alright today im talking about free stage entertainment for this year. Where, when and who. These are ones im going to try to be at because these people are awesome!
Anderson Erickson Dairy Stage: Brett Eldredge 8/14 8 PM, and Glen Templeton 8/16 8PM.
Anne and Bill Riley Stage: Hypnotist Ron Diamond 8/13 – 8/17 7 PM & 9 PM, this guy is really good and really funny! And Iowa State Fair Queen Coronation 8/11 7 PM (too bad I was in the King contest for polk county lol but I got second runner up so in olympic talk I got the bronze!)
Susan Knapp Amphitheater: Hunter Hayes 8/15 8 PM, Steve Holy 8/9 8 PM, Will Hoge 8/11 8 PM, and Hairball 8/13 – 8/14 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM. Ok Hairball is one I really want to talk about, now 3 or 4 possibly 5 years ago I heard their name and thought “O this should be funny a bunch of guys try to impersonate 80s rockers” But these guys are AWESOME!! They always have huge audiences and have killer concerts!! So if you like any classic rock songs and your avaible one of these two nights, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 Days!: The Midway. A place of rides, games, fun, and jeering dunk tank clowns. The midway opens from 10am to midnight everyday. The Midway has always been a place of fun for many years! In the fifties their were dance tents, rides, freak show tents, and even girlie tents. Granted things have changed since then but its still a great place to go unwind when at the Fair. The Midway is adding a new ride this year called Space Roller. Of course they will still have the classic and infamous double ferris wheel and the rock and roll himalaya.

5 Days!: I realized my first post was about food but I didnt say were to find it. So heres the food again, the stand, and where to find it.
Gourmet s’mores, available at Beaverdale Confections in the Shoppers’ Mart.
Peach, apple or cherry crisps, available at Iowa Orchard located inside the southwest entrance of the Agriculture Building.
Caribbean-style crab fritters, available at Ollie’s Crab Fritters west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center.
German chocolate funnel cakes, available at The Best Around on the Triangle.
Chocolate covered chocolate chip cannolis on-a-stick, available at Dipped in Chocolate on the southwest corner of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.
And my favorite!
Chocolate covered chocolate chip cookie dough pops on-a-stick, available at Dipped in Chocolate on the southwest corner of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion.
Only five days left, if you have questions about the Fair feel free to shoot me a message and I may be able to answer it.

4 Days!: Today is the 50th anniversarry of the State Fair movie (the remake). Dont forget to get your coupon out of the Register so you can get in free from 6-9 on thursday!

3 Days: Fair is very close, and if the weather stays the same as its suppossed to it will be a great time!!!! Opening day on the Grand Concourse at 8 there will be a large zumba class. The Fair is trying to break the record for largest zumba class at once. so if you do zumba or want to try it you should go check it out!!!!

Fair Life – Featured Series

Hi All,

I don’t know if you know this or not, but I’m going to be working (and living) at the 2012 Iowa State Fair… A DREAM of mine come true! I’m going to be working there the 6th through the 19th! While working and living there, I’m going to try to write a feature post each and everyday of the fair that includes some photos and interesting facts. The series is going to be called, “Fair Life“, and is scheduled to be released every day (August 6th-19th) at 8am here. As of right now, I currently have the 6th, 7th, and 9th days done, but I could use your help. Do you have any suggestions of places I should feature? Tweet me with your suggestions!


A Touching 4-H Story

Hi All,

I thought I would take some time on this final day of my second to last county fair to share with you a story of someone who I have inspired, and who has inspired me back.

This story is about a boy enrolled in our county 4-H program, he actually lives in the same town with me and we’re part of the same shooting sports club. His mom and I were chatting a week ago, and she said this: “He told me a couple of weeks ago that he wants to get good enough so he can take pictures for the paper like you do. He really admires the pictures that you take. Thanks for being such a good role model for him!! … I know you inspire him!” This year he brought several photos and some visual arts projects to the county fair.

Our county separates visual arts and photography judging from the rest of the county fair, and we have that all judged and displayed at our local mall, and then we bring it over to the county fair and display it with the rest of the exhibits. However, we only award whites, reds, blues, and purples at the mall. The rosettes of alternate state fair, state fair, and top award are a secret until the opening day of the county fair we call these orange dots, because we award them an orange dot signifying that they are different from the rest of the photos.

The boy got several orange dots and was pretty excited at the mall. I told him good luck when I saw him. That night as the judges were making their selections, I saw that his made state fair. Mind you, no one except the judges, superintendents, and I knew the rosette placings. That’s the night I started talking with his mom about doing a workshop for their club, and ultimately how I got his story that inspired me.

It didn’t dawn on me that something like that could have such an impact on a 4-Her. Yes, I knew state fair was extremely exciting, but how he reacted really touched my heart. His mom told me, “He is SO EXCITED!!!!! He couldn’t believe it when he seen it!!” When I ran into her the other night, she said how he stood standing, staring at his photo with his mouth wide open in awe for like 5 minutes. THAT is what I want EVERY 4-Her to experience at least once in their 4-H careers, that is the 4-H moment.

As 1 of 40 state council members, representing the statewide Iowa 4-H program to the 4-H members, and with my impressive 4-H career of attending the 2013 National 4-H Conference in Washington DC, the 2009 esri International Users Conference, along with all of the other conferences I’ve attended and presented at and all the other 4-H events and activities that I helped lead, it’s stories like this that really make me remember where I was just 7 years ago today that have made me who I am today.

esri UC Spatial Outlet

For those of you not at the UC (and for those of you who are), here is a gallery of the items (shirts/etc) being sold at the spatial outlet, so you can nicely ask your co-worker (or boss) to pick you up something! Special thanks to Dave Scheirer for sending them!

Notes: The pillow is $10 ~ Map Book is $24.95 ~ Cycling Shirts $59 ~ Green Hoodie $18

Updated: MapMan shirts are only in youth sizes now… Adult sizes sold out…

Speak Out for Military Kids

Hello, I just wanted to update you on something that is becoming EXTREMELY close to my heart that I’ve just become involved with in the past few days. I’ve just become involved with Speak Out for Military Kids, which is a really cool organization/group that is dedicated to helping kids whose family members are in the armed forces. Why have I gotten into this you may ask, well, several of my friends are involved with this group, and I learned of it’s folding during pre-conference of the 2012 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference which was held last week (more in a later post) due to funding cuts from DoD. Anyway, since I learned of their folding, I have concepted an idea to get SOMK restarted, but this time on a much more national level with support from the National 4-H Council. We are currently still in the development phase of this concept, but we are hoping to get something sent out to Chevy Chase, Maryland very soon. If National 4-H Council doesn’t fund our concept, we will still be extremely happy knowing that we did the best we ever could do to try to save SOMK.

Also, I just learned yesterday, that I am a military kid as well (I have several cousins in the military).

I’ll post more updates as we talk.

Summer Internship – Day 3

So wow! I’ve only been in the office for only about 20 hours this week, and I’m already caught up on my project that I’m working on  (developing a layer of non-tillable lands). So far I’ve drawn 917 polygons (according to the object ID count in the attribute table in the geodatabase. Tomorrow, I’m going to work on the building footprint layer for the rest of Story County, and will be working on that until my boss’s boss draws on some more maps of what I need to mark out.

Also today, was a really nice employee appreciation lunch that was AMAZING. I got to see some faces I knew and talk with a few other folks from other buildings and departments. I almost forgot to mention me and my boss were laughed at a few times b/c we apparently wore the almost exact same shirt today. How coincidental? lol.

While I was working today, I found some interesting things, below is just one of them.