Most Iowa State fans, especially those residing in the state of Iowa, are familiar with the Hayden-era ‘ANF’ decal that recently reappeared on the Hawkeye helmet.  Some may view this decal as a simple gesture of solidarity with the farmers of this state, but as an Iowa State fan and graduate who grew up on a farm, it has always rubbed me the wrong way.  To me this decal has always come across as a shallow attempt by the University of Iowa to grab fans and further the Hawkeyes’ image as ‘Iowa’s team.’  While it’s rubbed me the wrong way for some time, it wasn’t until today that it really torqued me off.

Today, while listening to a sporting goods store rep speak on a local sports station, I learned that the U of I has actually licensed this ‘ANF’ mark as an official trademark of the university, meaning that they collect royalties on its sale and use.  So while Iowa State University and its world-renowned agriculture college go about their business of actually advancing the agriculture industry, the U of I, who does little to nothing for the industry, will be profiting off the sale of this mark.

And, to be honest, saying that the U of I does little to nothing for the industry is probably being generous.  Something tells me that the kids from the Chicago suburbs, who are later pumped out by the U of I as freshly-minted lawyers and bankers, probably don’t become good friends of this state’s family farmers (this state’s real farmers).  Meanwhile, an Iowa farmer can’t move an inch in his machine shed, tractor cab, or corn field without bumping into something that an Iowa Stater had his or her hands in.

Part of me would love to see a marketing campaign launched by Iowa State with the goal of debunking the myth that the U of I is somehow the state university.  Putting the battle for the hearts and minds of Iowa’s farmers aside, I would love to see an ad with the slogan “Iowa’s sons and daughters choose State,” showing the historical in-state enrollment numbers to back it up.   More often than not, when an Iowan decides to pursue a college degree at one of the state’s two major universities, that Iowan goes to Iowa State University.  And when you run into a college graduate in this state, it’s more likely that said graduate will be an Iowa State alum than an Iowa alum.

But I suppose I need to give credit where credit is due.  The U of I has found a way to win over the unattached farmers of this state.  It doesn’t matter that, as Iowa State continues to make historic contributions to agriculture, Iowa finds a way to make money off of Joe Farmer when he heads over to Scheels to buy his ‘ANF’ bumper sticker.  We supposedly live in a state chock-full of common sense folk, yet the hypocrisy goes unnoticed by the masses. It’s a heckofa thing.

Thank you, U of I, for the heads-up. I agree wholeheartedly, America does need farmers. But I propose that the Hawkeyes license the following: ‘INFTTTIADSFF.’ It’s a bit lengthy, but I think it would more accurately reflect Iowa’s intentions with this clever piece of marketing: ‘Iowa (U of I) needs farmers to think that Iowa actually does something for farmers.’

P.S.  I apologize for the visual diarrhea accompanying this post.




Filed under Off-Topic

19 responses to “AMERICA NEEDS FARMERS

  1. why doesn’t ISU add andld – america needs doctors-lawyers-dentists !!!!!

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  3. Great Article.

    I would love to see this article in the Des Moines Register……

    HA HA HA HA HA HA. Yeah right the DMR write something negative about the Hawkeyes.

  4. geronimusclone

    Great piece, man.

  5. normanunderwood

    God, this is spot on dude. I was thinking about this exact same thing the other day.

  6. Pingback: My thoughts exactly... - CycloneFanatic

  7. st8te

    well done. most hawkeye fans don’t even have any idea what it means. to quote one I spoke to regarding this “I think it’s some farm thing”.

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  9. Matt

    I don’t know, so I’ll just ask…
    back in the days of Farm Aid when Hayden put the sticker on the helmet for the first time, what was ISU doing to help the farmers of the state (beyond the regular ag. school stuff)?

    And why is it 25 years later that this is a big deal (maybe Cyclones made a stink about this in the 80s, but I don’t remember hearing it)?

    • I’m sure Iowa State was doing plenty. As for your second question, it’s more of an issue now because the U of I has decided that it wants to make some money off of the deal. Without the decision to license the mark, it wouldn’t be nearly as upsetting. It would still be disingenuous, in my opinion, but not nearly as upsetting.

  10. So Cal Clone

    I always have found the ANF sticker to be a joke. The U of I fans I know and have always encountered in my personal life and on message boards have always looked down at ISU for being “Moo U” and “farm hicks”. Funny how when it comes to making money they love America’s farming families, seems extremely hypocritical. But it’s what I’ve come to expect from their fanbase. While Iowa “supports” farming with their beloved sticker, ISU continues a 150 year history of actually caring for and helping the state and nations farmers.

  11. hawkeyealum

    I actually came across this blog while searching the internet for an ANF sticker to buy and place on the back window of my truck right next to my UofI alum sticker.

    I’ll feel proud supporting Iowa’s farmers, including my family that farms 2,000 acres in Montezuma.

    • Enlighten me. You seem to be insinuating that your purchase of an ANF sticker somehow supports Iowa farmers, including your family, in some tangible way. How so? How does the haweyealum family benefit from such purchases?

  12. IAFAN

    Maybe ISU should license a sticker that says ANE, America needs Engineers.

  13. there are sporting goods that are very cheap but the quality is not very good ;`:

  14. Loyal Stater

    So the only thing I can say is that… aren’t you being a little bit prejudice. This isn’t about money its about backing up farmers in our state. I am all for supporting ISU’s stellar ag programs (I am a graduate), but how can you say that bankers and lawyers don’t affect agriculture at all. U of I offers programs that aren’t directly ag courses, but most jobs in the state are related to ag in some way. They do effect the way we as Iowans live. I think down playing people who will have an impact on agriculture in Iowa is not the correct way to go about voicing your concern. Use it to fuel positive change at the U of I. For instance at the Iowa vs. Iowa State game promote agricultural literacy for the whole state we all know that most people are getting farther away from our farms. People think chocolate milk comes from brown cows for God’s sake. Our nation is getting less smart about very simple science called ag. Make the game which almost every Iowan watches a huge celebration and time to have people learn about Agriculture! I know that it is hard to understand with our huge rivalry why the ANF decal would be on the helmet of the non-ag offered or land grant university. We just need to see it as a time to come together not be torn apart! This world has enough negativism, work together for the sake of one of the best places to learn about agriculture in the world!
    Go Cyclones!

  15. Anna

    I’m an Ames native and Iowa alum who comes from a farming family. Try not to get offended when Iowa tries to do the right thing…. Hawkeyes need baby steps 🙂 I know lots of farm kids from Eastern Iowa studying international studies in Iowa City. The world is not full of cookie cutters, sir, though that would make things easier for us to stay divided. Iowa does need farmers… And ISU doesn’t need to hear that message, our lawyers/doctors/writers DO. CyHawks for the win!!

  16. Matt Odland

    I really enjoy seeing more people agree with the exact same feeling I have about the subject!! #AHF actually helping farmers the Iowa State way

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