Five months ago, I moved from my tiny hometown in Iowa to the Seattle area. Since then, I’ve been spending my days fending off sarcastic remarks when I introduce myself as an Iowa girl. Most people aren’t actually trying to be mean and genuinely don’t know anything about the state of Iowa because they’ve probably never been anywhere near the Midwest (or only driven through it).
Have you ever noticed that during movies or TV shows, when the writers need to bash a state in the U.S., it almost always winds up being Iowa? Sometimes, they’ll throw in Nebraska, but that’s it. Almost 100% of the time, Iowa is the chosen Midwest state to make fun of. Unfortunately, I’ve found, that’s the case even without the media, especially for people who’ve never even been to the state.
I’m an Iowa girl who left Iowa, and I won’t be moving back. Most people assume that’s because I hate Iowa or because Iowa is a horrible place to live, but that’s not even close to true. In fact, Iowa is my favorite place on the planet and will always be my favorite place to visit. I was just ready to travel; I was ready to explore and see the world. Even though I’m ready to spend my life sight-seeing and back-packing, I will never fall in love with a place like I love Iowa.
I might not want to spend the rest of my life in Iowa, but I’ll sure as heck spend the rest of my life trying to convince everyone just how great the state really is.
Yes, for the love of Pete and all things good in the world, we have electricity, running water, AND internet.
I had a friend who went to college in a different state than Iowa, and when she introduced herself to another girl, she literally got asked if we had internet in Iowa. I’ve never personally had someone ask me this, but people do like to pretend like Iowa is stuck in some sort of time-warp. Sure, the rural communities aren’t quite as up on fashion as everyone else in the world, but I’d challenge you to go work on a farm for a day in a crop-top and flip-flops and see if you really want to wear it the next day.
It’s true that the rural communities might seem a little behind to the rest of the world. They’re filled with people who care less about fashion and are infatuated with country music, but maybe that has more to do with the lifestyle of Midwesterner’s and less to do with being technologically stuck-in-the-past compared to the rest of the country. These things might make Iowa unique, but it doesn’t lower the quality of life, nor does it make the state a laughing-corn-stalk.
If you like food at all, you better be thanking Iowa for all of it’s hard work, rather than tearing it down for being a boring geographical destination.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Iowa is that everyone from Iowa is a farmer, which is absolutely not true. Agriculture does make up around 20% of the jobs in Iowa; however, only 5% of Iowan’s farm, but each one of those farmers feeds up to 154 people per day!
There are many, many of other states with plenty of farming of various kinds, and all kinds of farming are important to make the world work like it does. With that said, Iowa is one of the most agriculturally efficient states in the country, and probably the state most well known for it’s farming. Most people know or at least assume that Iowa has the highest corn production of any other state in the country, but they don’t know that Iowa also has the highest hog and egg production in the country. Let’s not forget that Iowa falls second in the country in soybean production and ranks fourth in the cattle market. Although ethanol isn’t food, it is made out of corn, which causes Iowa to lead the nation in ethanol production as well.
As the Hawkeyes say, America Needs Farmers and whether or not you plan on visiting the Midwest state anytime soon, you should probably start thanking the hard working farmers that reside in Iowa, rather than bashing their lifestyle.
People naturally assume that the Midwest is stupid, especially Iowa, and I think that’s due to the farming community, but that has literally zero statistics to back it up.
Did you know that the national percentage of high school students to graduate and receive and diploma in four years in the United States is 81%? Well, Iowa’s graduation rate for the 2015 year was 9% above the national average at 90%, which is the highest graduation rate in the country. According to the 2009 census, the state of Iowa falls sixth in the nation for people over the age of 25 with a high school degree at 90.5% of the population. Not only are Iowa high schools doing great in comparison with the rest of the country, but the national American College Testing (ACT) Program was developed by a University of Iowa professor who based the new test on the Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) that’s administered to Iowa high school students every year.
While the high schools in Iowa are clearly doing well compared to the rest of the country, the 60 colleges and universities in Iowa are certainly worth mentioning. The University of Northern Iowa is ranked 18th as one of the best colleges in the Midwest. Iowa State University has 9 graduate programs in the top 25, all of which are engineering related; because of this, ISU has one of the top 10 engineering programs in the nation. In addition, ISU is also ranked 8th in the world in agricultural programs. The University of Iowa has 25 graduate programs ranked in the top 25 with a #1 writing program and a #1 speech-language pathology program. Not to mention, the University of Iowa is ranked 34th out of the 629 public universities in the nation and 82nd out of all 2,474 four-year universities in the nation.
If even after reading all of the incredible things about Iowa, you’re still not convinced that it’s a state worth praise, go visit sometime. Go to Iowa and spend time with an Iowan who will show you the ropes, and maybe you’ll learn to love it. In college, I brought my cute little Chicago friend to a bonfire in the middle of Iowa, and while it might have been a culture shock, it was one of the best nights we ever had. She fell in love with Iowa and finally understood why my heart will forever reside in my tiny, tiny hometown.