State Quiz - Iowa

Can you guess these facts about the U.S. state of Iowa?
Quiz by Quizmaster
Last updated: September 8, 2020
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First submittedSeptember 4, 2019
Times taken18,568
Average score70.0%
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Capital city
Des Moines
Second most populous city
Cedar Rapids
Fourth most populous city - named for a Native American group
Sioux City
River that forms the state's eastern border
U.S. states that border Iowa
South Dakota
County famous for its covered bridges
Madison County
State nickname
The Hawkeye State
Iowa is the #1 producer of this crop
The University of Iowa has dominated this sport, winning 23 NCAA championships
This 1928 invention by Otto Frederick Rohwedder was the greatest thing since ... ever
Sliced bread
Graduates of this program include Wallace Stegner, Jane Smiley,
and Flannery O'Connor
Iowa Writers' Workshop
Every four years, Iowa hosts the nation's first Presidential _____
This Iowa-born scientist doubled wheat yields in India, Pakistan, and Mexico,
saving millions from starvation
Norman Borlaug
Movie about a farmer who built a baseball field
Field of Dreams
President born in West Branch in 1874
Herbert Hoover
Level 90
Sep 5, 2019
If you do not know the story of Norman Borlaug, you need to look him up and read his tale. Then drink a toast to this heroic scientist and the lives he has saved.
Level 82
Dec 30, 2019
Yeah but Captain Kirk saved the whole planet multiple times.
Level 33
Apr 11, 2020
Level 67
Dec 30, 2019
I was just going to comment that I've never heard of this guy, but he sounds awesome and I am going to look him up. One of the instances where it's great that a quiz includes an answer that almost no one will know.
Level 75
Dec 30, 2019
I agree with everything you say about his saving lives. However, I grew up in a farm family which participated in that drastic change in farming practices. We were told by our bankers to farm "fencerow to fencerow" because the world needed our food, and we all would have to get on board with the new way if we wanted to stay competitive. So, we plowed up our marginal land, bought bigger, more expensive equipment and purchased all sorts of expensive herbicides and insecticides to do what manual labor had done formerly. Universities sent experts to places like Brazil to teach farmers there how to grow soybeans - the rainforest seemed like a good place to start. Miracle hybrids grew ten times the amount of grain per acre as the old varieties. However, individual plants didn't absorb any more nutrients from the soil, it was merely divided many times among all the extra seeds per plant, so there is some controversy that the new grains aren't as nutritive as the old varieties.
Level 75
Dec 30, 2019
Irrigation was promoted which has caused problems with low water tables in some areas, and flushing chemicals into ditches which killed animals. We used to catch crawdads in the ditches to use as fish bait. I haven't seen any in the ditches for decades. There was more dependency on oil with the new pesticides and more trips through the field to spray them. Many small farmers were put out of business because they didn't have the money to invest in the new methods and bankers wanted to support farmers who were open to modernization. So, yes, Borlaug can be credited with saving starving people - many, many people. However, as with most revolutions, there were also negative consequences that weren't foreseen at the time, which are still causing problems today. I'm not taking away from his success, I'm just injecting a little realism from one who can now see it from both sides (and is grateful that she can now grow her own food organically.)
Level 75
Feb 15, 2021
The "Green Revolution" has done a lot to exacerbate unequal landholding patterns in India and elsewhere. This is related to capital-intensive methods that have priced out lots of small farmers. There's a big difference between increasing yields through the use of chemical-intensive farming and saving people from famine. (Bengal, after all, produced plenty during the wave of famines around the turn of the nineteenth century.)
Level 63
Nov 10, 2021
ander217 I always look forward to and enjoy your comments. Always something extra for me to learn from you :)
Level 88
Sep 10, 2020
*sad Davenport noises*
Level 43
Feb 15, 2021
Fellow QC'er here.
Level 43
Jan 24, 2021
Huge West Wing fan and I still couldn't remember Norman Borlaug
Level 52
Feb 15, 2021
Fun fact about Iowa: it is 90% cornfields, 6% other fields, 20% unpaved roads, and 0.00001% cities.
Level 90
Feb 15, 2021
All the characteristics of a midwestern state!
Level 65
Nov 30, 2021
Don't forget gun stores, liquor stores and payday loan stores.
Level 64
Feb 15, 2021
Gaaah. I was so stuck on Iowa City that I forgot about Sioux City.
Level 77
Feb 15, 2021
I believe that sliced bread is the greatest thing since Betty White.
Level 62
Feb 15, 2021
Surprised there wasn't a question about American Gothic.
Level 80
Feb 16, 2021
Rohwedder was born in Iowa but his was bread slicing machine was invented and first implemented in Chillicothe, Missouri.
Level 39
Feb 18, 2021
I didnt do that well
Level 74
Apr 30, 2021
Thanks for including the Iowa Writers' Workshop question, that was cool to see on Jetpunk.
Level 60
May 20, 2021
Got 100%! Which is only logical, considering Iowa is my home state.
Level 69
Jun 13, 2021
'Bread slicer' isn't accepted? That seems odd.
Level 53
Nov 13, 2023
“Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.”
Level 65
Mar 15, 2024
Doesn't hold the caucus any longer (for Dems).
Level 58
May 8, 2024
Weird that there isn't an American Gothic or a Grant Wood question...