Fields of Champions cookout to showcase Iowa agriculture

Fields of Champions cookout to showcase Iowa agriculture

Posted June 26, 2012


A “Fields of Champions” Cookout celebrating food and farming will be a highlight of the Summer Iowa Games Athlete Jamboree and Opening Ceremony Friday, July 13, in Ames.

The cookout, coordinated by the Iowa Food & Family Project, begins at 5:30 p.m. in parking lot S6 east of Jack Trice Stadium on the Iowa State University campus. The meal — featuring beef and pork burgers, Kay’s Naturals soy snacks, yogurt, fruit and milk — will be served to the first 2,200 people. It will be provided by farmers for a free-will donation to help food banks serve Iowans in need of food assistance.


Throughout the evening, farmers and attendees will converse about the continuous improvements made in farming and how rural and urban Iowans share common goals related to environmental quality, wholesome food and vibrant communities.


“Fields of Champions” Cookout partners include the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Farm Credit Services of America, Iowa Select Farms, Iowa Turkey Federation, Midwest Dairy Association, The Soyfoods Council, United Soybean Board and Iowa Food Bank Association.


“We’re excited to have farm families play such an important part of the Athlete Jamboree and Opening Ceremony celebration,” says Clarence Hudson, executive director of the Iowa Sports Foundation. “Wholesome food and good health go hand in hand as do the fitness and farming communities. They come together at this event in a very positive and engaging way to the benefit of Iowa’s families and communities.”


In addition to the cookout, the Athlete Jamboree is packed with family fun and entertainment including inflatable games, photo booth sponsored by the Ames Hotel Council, JumpRopeSprintdemonstration, Team X Trials Show (gymnastics on two wheels) and the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team.


The opening ceremony, sponsored by the Iowa Army National Guard, 3M and Ames Rotary Club, begins at 7 p.m. It features the Parade of Athletes, Arrival of the Torch, Oath of Athletes and Lighting of the Cauldron. A fireworks display at approximately 7:30 p.m. kicks off a free concert with singer Sunny Sweeney and country duo The Lost Trailers.


Hudson says the celebration also is about helping the nearly 380,000 Iowans — or 13 percent of the state’s population — who are food insecure or struggle with hunger. Food insecure Iowans miss an average of 167 meals each year, equal to 56 days with no breakfast, lunch or dinner.


“Healthy, nutritious and affordable food is essential for human development and vitality, and no one is more committed or involved in providing it than Iowa’s farmers,” he says.


The Iowa Food & Family Project ( is a purpose-driven initiative created by the Iowa Soybean Association and dedicated to inspiring greater awareness and understanding between farmers and consumers in today’s farms and farming methods. It involves the participation of more than 30 agriculture, retail and association partners and proudly serves as presenting sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa. It’s funded in part by the Soybean Checkoff.