DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa sweetcorn is officially in season, and that means it's time for WHO Radio's sweet corn celebration.
The group offered free sweetcorn to anyone passing by the State Capitol building today. Even Governor Terry Branstad made an appearance. The group partners with Iowa Corn every year to throw its Sweet Corn Celebration, and while it's primarily for fun - it's also a chance to educate the public on the importance of corn in Iowa's economy.
"We've been the largest state for corn production for, I think, in excess of 80 years," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey. "Most of the time - actually, 37 of the last 38 years we've been number 1 in corn production; we only have three countries that produce more corn than the state of Iowa does. So, we get travelers from around the world that come here to see corn. And it is a huge economic engine."
Secretary Northey says corn may be the first image that comes to mind when you think about Iowa, but it's easy for people to forget how much of impact it makes on the state.
"We don't always think about that stuff - that green stuff - we're driving by, between some of our cities that we're working in," he said. "So, this is an opportunity to tell folks what that is, the technologies that are used, certainly events around it - like the Corn Indy 300 that'll be this weekend - and the opportunity for them to go and fill up their vehicle with ethanol, that's produced right here in Iowa. The jobs that are related to agriculture and corn production, and so it is important to be able to continue to tell that story."
As mentioned by Secretary Northey, the Iowa Corn Indy 300 takes place this Sunday at the Iowa Speedway in Newton at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.