Pedaling Across Iowa, Learning About Agriculture

Iowa Farm Scene

Podcasts will tell the story of Iowa agriculture as thousands of bicyclists ride along the 2013 RAGBRAI route across the state.

Published on: July 12, 2013

The podcasts are unique in that they show the diversity of Iowa's agriculture. Listeners meet a farmer who sells at his local farmer's market, another who farms using organic methods. The bike riders can even hear from the people involved in a family-owned winery. Other stories come from beekeepers and coal mine experts, all of these people have roots deep in Iowa's landscape. Urban conservation is even discussed as the riders reach Des Moines half way through the week.

A different podcast has been recorded for each day's travel along the route, and these are available for people to listen to free of charge

In the introductory podcast, Northey states: "Agriculture is a very big part of what we do in Iowa. You see it spatially out there as you look across the landscape and you see it economically as well. Agriculture is one of the biggest industries in the state and if you include not only the actual farming but the folks who produce things for farmers or process the crops and livestock, somewhere around 25% to 30% of the economic activity in Iowa is based in agriculture."

This is the 41st year that RAGBRAI has been held. The 2013 ride begins July 21 and goes until July 27. Each year, the ride starts at or near the Missouri River on the state's western edge and ends at the Mississippi River on the state's eastern edge. The bike riders who complete the entire route dip their front tire in the Mississippi River. It's a ritual to signify that they've completed the ride. RAGBRAI is limited to 8,500 week-long riders and 1,500 day riders.

Also each year, the route across the state is different and is chosen by the bike ride's organizers. To view details of this year's route, go to the RAGBRAI website.