What kind of things are made in Iowa
You'll be surprised when you find out what kind of things are made in IowaOkay, I have to confess. Until I started to write this article, I had no idea what kinds of things are made in Iowa.
Well, almost none. I knew about corn. Corn is to Iowa what potatoes are to Idaho and oranges to Florida. In fact, in an average year, Iowa farmers produce a staggering 2.2 billion (yes, that is BILLION) bushels of corn. According to the USDA, that's about three times as much corn as the entire country of Mexico, another leading corn producer. Most of that goes onto tables as corn on or off the cob, with the rest destined as livestock feed, fuel (in the form of ethanol), cereal, sweetener and starch.
Iowa is also the United State's leading grower of soybeans, with an average annual production of 466 million bushels. And it's a leading dairy producer, too. Much of the country's milk and eggs come from Iowa farms.
But none of that was a big surprise. After all, we all know Iowa as a farm state. So what else comes from this heartland state?
Fine foods from a piece of America history
In 1755, a group of settlers in what would become Iowa gathered to form a community based on shared religious values and communal living. The community, made up of a small group of villages a few miles apart was named Amana, from a word in the bible meaning "to remain true."
The group remained active from their founding into the Great Depression when falling crop prices made their lifestyle impossible to continue. But even today, a legacy of that early piece of Iowa history remains, with fine foods created in the Amana tradition sold locally at the restored villages, and internationally online and through food and gift catalogs.
Award winning wine
If you don't think of wine and vineyards when you think about Iowa, you're not alone. But maybe it's time for that to change. Iowa is home to over 95 vineyards and wineries. And in recent years, those wines have garnered an impressive number of regional, national and even international awards across a number of varietals and blends.
Art and Music
Iowa is also home to an impressive number of artists and musicians. Many of their creations are showcased in the many fairs and festivals across Iowa each year. But not all Iowa artists and musicians stay in state. Artist Grant Wood took his artistic vision worldwide when he painted the now famous American Gothic. And world-reknown musicians Glenn Miller and Andy Williams hailed from Iowa, too. Mac Hornecker, known for his large scale sculptures in metal, glass and other mixed materials also hails from Iowa.
The iconic sock monkey socks
Yes, it's true. Without Iowa based Fox River Mills, there would be no red-heeled socks to make the classic sock monkey! Sure, you can make a monkey with any old socks, but it just wouldn't be the same without that oatmeal-colored weave and the red accents.
Started back in 1901, these are America's very first motorcycles. The Indian Chief and Indian Scout remain popular with motorcycle enthusiasts across the county and beyond. Unlike so many motorcycles which are made outside of the U.S., these classic cycles are still made in the Iowa heartland.
Jolly Time Popcorn
It's only fitting that this list that started with corn, finishes with another kind of corn. I don't know if you're as much of a popcorn fan as I am, but for me a movie night just isn't complete without a big bowl of popcorn. Jolly Time, America's first popcorn company, has always been an Iowa company. And it's still family owned and operated since 1914.