AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) partnered with the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association this fall for the 2019 Iowa Corn-Fed Food Blogger Tour. The event brought together some of the country’s top food bloggers to experience Iowa’s agricultural industry firsthand. The ten bloggers attending this year’s tour came from all over the United States; New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Louisiana.
With little-to-no experience in production agriculture, this group came with an open mind and willingness to learn about how cattle are raised in Iowa. “Food bloggers are an extremely important group for the beef checkoff to connect with. They have thousands of loyal followers that view them as a trusted source for information,” commented Rochelle Gilman, RD, Director of Nutrition and Health for IBIC.
Throughout the event, the Iowa State Beef Checkoff hosted a pasture walk for bloggers at Justin and Corrine Rowe’s farm in Madison County, Iowa. The group received a firsthand look at a cow-calf operation and gained valuable insight from the family on their day-to-day responsibilities on the farm. The Rowe’s provided each blogger with a picture book that highlights the family’s beef farm throughout the year and the different responsibilities that accompany each season. Following the pasture walk, bloggers engaged in conversation during a Q&A session with the Rowe’s and enjoyed a delicious beef dinner. Corinne shared her take on the event, “I found interacting with the bloggers during the pasture walk and at dinner to be very insightful. There was great discussion and I was able to answer their burning questions in a more personalized manner. This event has allowed me to connect with these bloggers and interact with them through social media since their visit.”
After the event, the bloggers took their experiences during the tour and shared their new-found knowledge with their followers. Collectively, this group of ten individuals influences the purchasing decisions of over 3.5 million people through the use of Facebook and Instagram.
Laura Fuentes, Momables.com blogger from Louisiana said this about the tour, “One reason why it is important for farmers to work with food influencers is that you can change consumer perception as an industry.” Many bloggers shared photos and videos of the beef pasture walk and have included several beef recipe posts following the tour.
“Not only was this event able to leave a positive impression of the beef industry in these third-party influencer’s minds, but IBIC was able to catalyze future partnerships and create connections that will allow for us to be a trusted resource in the future,” shares Kylie Peterson, Director of Marketing and Communications for IBIC.
— Iowa Beef Industry Council
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