Farm and football promotion began with Hayden Fry

Farm and soccer promotion started with Hayden Fry

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Seeing the letters ANF is a typical sight for many who tune into Iowa Hawkeye sporting occasions. The letters, which characteristic prominently on the helmets of Iowa soccer gamers, stand for America Wants Farmers and is a partnership between the College of Iowa athletics and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and has a historical past that dates again practically 40 years.

What began as a method to elevate consciousness and present the significance of farmers across the area, has continued to be a logo a few years later.

IFBF public relations supervisor Andrew Wheeler spoke with Iowa Farmer At this time in regards to the origins and impacts of this program.

IFT: When did the America Wants Farmers (ANF) motion get began? Has it at all times been related to the Iowa Hawkeyes?

WHEELER: Fast reply: 1985 and sure.

Lengthy reply: Hayden Fry, the pinnacle soccer coach on the College of Iowa at the moment, knew the farm disaster touched a lot of his gamers and many of the followers. He was rebuilding the Hawkeye soccer legacy and wished to indicate the nation that the power of his staff may be measured of their character. By no means one to simply accept defeat, Fry quietly went to work on a recreation plan to lift consciousness of farmers who had been struggling.

In 1985, the Hawkeye soccer staff was rated the highest staff within the nation for a number of weeks throughout that season, gained the Massive Ten championship and, as such, superior to the 1986 Rose Bowl because the league’s consultant.

When Fry’s squad traveled to Ohio State on November 2, one thing new was observed on their game-day helmet: a easy yellow circle, 2½ inches broad, with the letters “A-N-F” positioned instantly above the Tigerhawk on the fitting facet of the headgear. It stood for “America Wants Farmers.” In that second, and thru the numerous video games, many gamers and lots of wins that adopted, it stays a testomony to the women and men who proudly give their all to offer the nation’s various meals provide.

Fry, who acquired an honorary Iowa Farm Bureau membership that 12 months, mentioned, “The factor I am most happy with right here at Iowa is placing the ANF on our headgear.”

Iowa Farm Bureau partnered with the Hawkeyes on ANF greater than a decade in the past to raise ANF, with a objective to extend consciousness of the importance and significance of agriculture and join customers with the farmers who develop and lift their meals.

IFT: How has ANF advanced since its begin within the Eighties? How does it work with farmers?

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WHEELER: At this time, lower than 5% of Iowans make a residing from the land. There could also be fewer Iowa farmers, however they’re extra diversified, revolutionary and environment friendly, and have weathered new challenges to the best way they develop our meals and power. Their job to develop secure, healthful meals has by no means been extra vital.

We’ve seen large help for ANF, and the variety of customers sporting ANF gear to help the mission continues to develop.

Farmers are on the coronary heart of ANF and the main target of all the things the marketing campaign stands for. Annually in the course of the Annual ANF recreation at Kinnick Stadium, dozens of farmers volunteer to work at our tailgate recreation tent and work together with followers. They reply questions starting from accountable livestock care and conservation progress to sharing the well being and dietary advantages of actual animal protein. The farmers and followers actually benefit from the expertise supplied every year.

IFT: ANF has usually labored with the Iowa Meals Financial institution Affiliation. Is that the principle focus for ANF, and what different organizations do you’re employed with?

WHEELER: The ANF program has had a huge impact on meals safety right here in Iowa, with greater than $180,000 raised to profit the Iowa Meals Financial institution Affiliation for the reason that partnership started.

IFT: What work is finished exterior of the soccer season for ANF?

WHEELER: Whereas soccer gives essentially the most seen protection of ANF, we’ve seen different U of I athletic packages, together with baseball, softball and rowing, help ANF with stickers on their uniforms and tools in recent times, so help continues to develop and has grow to be related to all Hawkeyes athletics groups.

With ANF branded hats, helmets, shirts, bumper stickers, koozies, and many others. the widespread help has been actually encouraging. We all know agriculture is a large a part of Iowa’s cultural heritage, and it’s been fantastic to see the help and admiration for Iowa farm households and their work ethic.

IFT: ANF has honored previous Hawkeyes for the continued work with this system. What does it imply to see continued buy-in from those that participated in Iowa soccer?

WHEELER: Eleven former Hawkeyes have been acknowledged with a everlasting spot on the ANF Wall of Honor at Kinnick Stadium. The ANF Wall of Honor acknowledges former gamers that exhibit the excellent character, perseverance and dedication to arduous work that’s shared by Iowa farmers. It’s a really spectacular group of former gamers, and I feel their pleasure and pleasure from the popularity says lots in regards to the significance of ANF.

IFT: As Iowa prepares for a bowl recreation on January 1, many eyes will see the ANF sticker on nationwide TV. What message do you hope individuals take away from this program?

WHEELER: For a lot of, the ANF emblem is a celebration of the work ethic and values which might be synonymous with Iowans and farmers. We hope followers see the ANF emblem as a testomony to the few, the proud, the Farm Sturdy households of Iowa; the women and men who go the additional mile to not solely develop secure, healthful meals, however to guard the land and the legacy of rural Iowa and the American farmer.

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