5 Things Chris Soules Should Want Bachelorettes to Know
January 12, 2015
Every day conversations and comments on Facebook have been heavily focused on ABC's "The Bachelor” since last Monday’s premiere. So what does this reality TV show have to do with a pumpkin patch located in North Central Iowa? Farming!
The 19th edition features Iowa farmer and Iowa State University alumni Chris Soules. In a recent interview with the ISU alumni magazine, Iowa’s most recognizable bachelor answers five questions. In one of his responses, Soules said he hopes his current position will help Americans understand that 98% of all U.S. farms are family owned. His quote, “The people who run those family businesses are not just farmers, they are also business people who have a lot of pride in what they do.”
I couldn’t agree more! Since I’m extremely passionate about helping consumers how and why their food is raised, I decided to use my blog as a platform to correct some of the misperceptions about agriculture that I heard during the season premiere on January 5.
Here’s my Top 5 list I believe all Americans should know about Iowa agriculture and life in our great state:
Your life will drastically change when you marry a farmer. Chris Soules is a farmer, and he can’t “relocate” his ground. Hopefully, the woman who chooses to marry him wants to become his partner in life – and that includes being a supportive farm wife. As Prairie Californian Jenny Rohrich writes in her blog post, 10 Ways Marrying a Farmer Will Change Your Life, “Date nights during planting and harvest = time in the tractor or combine with your husband. Dates during any other time of the year besides winter = checking crops. If you want to see him or spend time with him, this is where you will be.”
Pork fuels Iowa’s economy. Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the nation. Soules’ farm plus approximately 6,265 more Iowa hog farms produce 49 million hogs per year and employ nearly 40,290 Iowans. You can learn more about pork production by following the hashtag #RealPigFarming in social media. This tag is meant to bring together the many ways that hogs are raised on farms across the country and show how farmers focus on management and care of their animals.
Most farmers don’t use a moldboard plow; they practice conservation tillage. Ninety percent of Iowa’s crop land is farmed using some form of conservation practices such as soil testing, nutrient management planning, tillage and crop residue management, crop rotation and precision agriculture techniques. Conservation Counts. Since 1987, farmers have applied conservation methods that have reduced wind and water erosion on American crop land by more than a third (33 percent).
Iowa is not only the Hawkeye State; it’s a CyclONE nation! Chris Soules gives a “politically correct” answer by saying he graduated as an Iowa State Cyclone but also cheers for the Hawkeyes. Bachelorettes should take note that Soules is the exception, not the rule. Most Iowans root for one team or the other because, well, bragging rights are at stake! J Iowa doesn’t have a professional sports team, so the Cy-Hawk Series is our equivalent of the Super Bowl and NBA Championship (and every other big game).
Hopefully, this season of The Bachelor will allow all of America to enjoy a real look at agriculture in Iowa. Like Soules stated in his interview for the ISU Alumni Association's magazine, it would be great for viewers to see how important Iowa agriculture it is to our state, our country and our world food supply.