Olthoff Family to be Honored at Iowa State Fair

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The Olthoff family of Stanhope will be recognized as one of six recipients of The Way We Live Award at the 2012 Iowa State Fair.

DES MOINES, IA (06/28/2012)(readMedia)-- The Olthoff family of Stanhope will be recognized as one of six recipients of The Way We Live Award at the 2012 Iowa State Fair. The family will be honored in an award ceremony on Friday, August 10, at 10:30 a.m. on the Christensen Farms Stage in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center. "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, set for August 9-19.

The Way We Live Award recognizes industrious Iowa families who demonstrate a daily dedication to animal agriculture and exemplify farm values derived from hard work and a love for the occupation of farming. Entrants were asked to submit a short essay describing how living on a farm and choosing the occupation of farming has shaped their family's life. Six recipients of the award were chosen from a pool of 75 entries representing a variety of commodities and locations throughout Iowa.

Several years ago Bart Olthoff worked as a lab technician at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames and Katie, his wife, worked as a teacher. They had a desire to raise their children in the country but had no set plan. The opportunity to buy a turkey farm came up in 2009 and the couple couldn't pass it up. Bart's dad and grandfather had raised turkeys but timing did not allow Bart to continue in the turkey business. Since 2009, they have been living in the country raising their two children, Adam (3) and Isaac (1).

Although they are new to the farm world, Bart and Katie are fully embracing their new country life. Bart built tunnel ventilated turkey barns, using the latest energy efficiency and technology to keep his turkeys comfortable and well cared for. Bart and Katie hosted an open house with the Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers to celebrate the third generation of the family turkey farm. Katie has a blog (www.onthebanksofsquawcreek.com), Facebook page and Twitter account to connect with people and educate them about her farm life, family and home. "There are lots of risks involved, but we feel that the financial benefits are nothing compared to raising our kids on a farm in this lifestyle," says Katie. Katie is also participating in a volunteer program called Common Ground, a social media effort sponsored by the United Soybean Board and the National Corn Growers Association, where she connects with other moms through social media and to answer questions about how farmers grow our food.

The Olthoff family will receive a prize package including $250 cash, Fair admission tickets, parking, Fair food tickets, and recognition in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center during the Fair. The Way We Live Award is sponsored by NewsRadio 1040 WHO and Tractor Supply Company.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit www.iowastatefair.org.

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