Iowa Corn Quest 2015 #Iacornquest

#IowaCornQuest

Last Month,  I had the great privilege of traveling to Davenport, Iowa to attend Iowa Corn Quest, a blogger tour put on by Iowa Corn.  I have only been an Iowa resident for a few years,  and I live in a “town”.   It was nice to get an up- close view of farm life.  Something I just catch a glimpse of while driving from here to there.  What I learned during Iowa Corn Quest was an, in- depth look on Iowa Corn production.  Iowa Corn Quest was a great and educational experience.  Plus, it reiterated what I tell my family in Chicago all the time- That people who live in Iowa are the nicest people in the whole world!  #Iacornquest 

Let me tell you about it. 

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Here are the 10 bloggers who attended Iowa Corn Quest.  I am second from he left.  It was great meeting other people who understand this crazy thing called blogging 🙂

From Left to Right:  Connie: Urban Bakes,  myself, Jenny: In the Kitchen with Jenny, Isabel: Family Foodie, Anetta: The Wanderlust Kitchen, Mandy: Mandy’s recipe box, Katerina: Diethood, Becky: The Cookie Rookie, Justine: Cooking and Beer and Michelle: Dish of Daily Life.  

A little background.  Davenport, Iowa is one of the Quad Cities.  My husband and I actually lived in this area the first five years we were married.  It was really great visiting my old stomping grounds.   Both my dad and my father-in-law grew up on farms.   I knew  a little bit about the industry, but had never really seen it first-hand.

Tuesday Night

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We attended an opening dinner at The Mississippi Distilling Company in Le Claire, Iowa.   We had an in depth talk about the benefits corn ethanol has on our environment.  Very little Corn in Iowa is actually the sweet corn we eat.  Most of the corn grown in Iowa is a different variety.  It is used mainly for livestock feed and used for ethanol production.  You can learn more about the uses of Iowa Corn at Iowacorn.org .

Wednesday Morning

On Wednesday morning, we woke up and attended a presentation by Dr Ruth McDonald.   Dr McDonald is a professor at Iowa State University.  She presented us with information about GMO’s from the science community, and assured us that GMO’s have been tested for decades and have been determined as safe.   Maybe it’s just the political science major in me, but I do like to hear different opinions and pick things apart.  Working in the social media industry, I know how a photo with a quote on it being passed around online can be turned into a “fact” very quickly.  it is important to remember that there are two sides to every story.

We continued our discussion at Hy Vee, over a wonderful corn inspired lunch prepared by chef Ashley,   She also gave us some very useful cooking tips!

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Wednesday afternoon

we took a bus to Washington, Iowa- where we toured a corn producing farm.  This was my favorite part of the tour.  It was nice to get outside to see corn production in action.

Also, one thing I really love about meeting new people is hearing their “story”  I love hearing about how people fall into certain careers and business ventures.  It is so interesting to me.   We talked with a few different farmers during this afternoon.  I loved hearing about their individual business ventures.   No two farms are the same.   They might use different seeds, different equipment, and sell their corn or other crops to different places.    Some corn farmers might sell their corn to feed animals, while others might concentrate on ethanol production.   The media might portray farmers always following the rules of the large agriculture companies.  That is not true.  Most farms are family businesses.  there is a lot of care and love involved in their business decisions and in corn production.

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Wednesday Night 

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Wednesday night we had, just maybe, the best meal ever!  We headed down to another farm in Washington, Iowa for a tailgate style dinner.   We had ham and chicken wings cooked in this wooden box ( shown above) that tasted out of this world.  We also had homemade french fires and other “traditional” Iowa side dishes.    I also got to see Erin Brenneman, who I met over the summer during my Iowa Pork Tour.

Thursday Morning 

Thursday morning, we continued our discussion at El Rio Spa in Le Claire.  It was great to have some down time and to reflect on the previous day’s events.  I  believe that Iowa Corn  showed us how corn farming is truly being done with integrity.  One important piece of information that I learned on this tour, is that there is so much research, technology and time being put into the corn growing process. It is actually quite remarkable.

Want to learn more?  Check out the Iowa Corn Website to learn about: Ethanol Production, how Iowa corn feeds animals,  and the latest research.

This post has been sponsored by Iowa Corn.   My travel expenses for this trip were also compensated by Iowa Corn, but all opinions are my own.