Chad Greenway, a small-town Iowa farm boy, now a dominant defensive player in the National Football League (NFL), is the latest football star teaming up with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the University of Iowa (UI) to promote the America Needs Farmers (ANF) campaign.

Greenway was raised on a small South Dakota farm that his parents still operate.  Today, he is one of the NFL’s most prolific linebackers, but underneath his jersey and pads is a farmer passionate about highlighting the vital role agriculture plays in our country.   “The importance of farmers is never going to go away.  The foundation of human nature is farming: being able to produce something from the land, being able to feed your family, feed your community, and feed the world,” Greenway said.  “It’s the backbone of America.  It’s what we’re all about.  It’s the fabric of our being.”

Greenway says the life lessons learned on the farm help motivate him on the football field.  “There are so many levels where hard work and growing up on a farm can correlate to football.  I’ve used all the principles I gained growing up on a farm to really push me in the profession that I’m in now,” said Greenway, star linebacker of the Minnesota Vikings entering his eighth season in the league.  “The game of football is unique and tests you in many ways; it tests your will; it tests your ability to get up from being knocked down; it tests your work ethic, for sure, and the want-to that you have.” 

Greenway joins an impressive list of former Hawkeye players who support ANF, a campaign launched by legendary Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry in 1985 during the Farm Crisis. The ANF emblem is displayed on Hawkeye football players’ helmets today and is a source of pride for the former Hawkeye great.  “I’m proud that I went to the University of Iowa and that ANF is part of what the UI symbolizes and tries to push.  I’m proud that the people of Iowa can turn on the Hawkeye game and be proud of the people we are putting on the field who wear that emblem,” said Greenway.

With most people two to three generations removed from the family farm, IFBF and the UI joined forces to promote the ANF message and talk to consumers about the food, fuel and fiber raised by farmers. “Consumers want to know more about where their food comes from and the ANF effort is just one way farmers are helping build that understanding,” said Craig Hill, IFBF president.

Greenway joins former Hawkeye greats Hap Peterson, Mike Haight, Matt Kroul, Casey Wiegmann, Jared Devries, and Dallas Clark as ANF supporters.  The ANF campaign continues to create excitement with the 2013 Hawkeye football season drawing closer.

Learn more about why Chad Greenway and the other members of the ANF team believe America Needs Farmers at www.iowafarmbureau.com/articles/89871/