See You Soon in Iowa

In just a few short weeks, county agricultural agents and specialists from across the country will arrive in Des Moines, Iowa, for the annual meeting and professional improvement conference of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Aug. 13-17.

This is the first time Iowa has hosted the annual conference, and the planning committee from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is excited to welcome you!

Whether you’re flying, driving or carpooling, you can expect an action-packed week full of education, networking and getting to know more about the nation’s top producing agricultural state.

Rebecca and Patrick welcoming people to Iowa.All conference programs will be held under one roof at the Iowa Events Center. Three of the five selected upscale conference hotels are connected to the event center by a climate-controlled skywalk, and the Des Moines Airport is just minutes away with hotel shuttle service.

Additionally, downtown attractions are just steps away, including the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines Art Route, Botanical Gardens, Iowa State Capitol, the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, plus scores of restaurants and bars.

Agricultural spotlight

During the many professional development tours, you will learn about Iowa’s top-producing agriculture and how it impacts the confluence of agricultural and natural resources. Iowa has roughly 85,000 farms, 90% of which are family-owned. Iowa farms grow more corn, raise more pigs, and produce more eggs than any state in the nation. We rank second in soybeans, fourth in cattle marketed, seventh in turkeys, tenth in sheep and lambs, and twelfth in milk production.

If you want to see Iowa’s agriculture in one setting, plan to visit the Iowa State Fair, which runs Aug. 10-20 on the east side of Des Moines. At the internationally acclaimed fair, you will see grand-champion livestock, antique and cutting-edge agricultural machinery, a variety of 4-H exhibits, the famous butter cow crafted annually since 1911, and top-rated musical entertainment.

Getting to the state fair is easy, with bus transportation conveniently one block from the Iowa Events Center, running daily. DART buses run from one block west of the Iowa Events Center to the fairgrounds from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Learning and networking

Of course, the conference is our main focus, and organizers and volunteers have been working year-round to make sure the 2023 gathering is meaningful, impactful, engaging and memorable. The speaker lineup includes everyone from government leaders like U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, to Iowa’s own governor Kim Reynolds. Each day is filled with dozens of session speakers who represent agricultural topics from across the nation.

We are confident that this year’s conference attendees are in for a real Midwest treat! Bring your curiosity, imagination and your appetite to learn and engage with your fellow agricultural agents. We are honored to have you as our guests and hope you enjoy every minute of the Iowa experience!