Monday, June 27, 2005

My internet connection here today has been exceedingly flaky thus far, so I haven't been able to research this issue as fully as I would like, but I need to pass along the shocking news that the Pork Queen is in danger! The royalty I speak of is a long-standing Iowa tradition where young women with great knowledge of and love for pork and pork products are elected every year to serve as ambassadors for the Iowa Pork Council - there are county pork queens who then compete against each other at Pork Congress for the honor of becoming Iowa Pork Queen. I was hoping to find out if Dairy Queens are also imperiled, but they are more difficult to research due to the ice cream chain... for now all I have to add to those similar yet different articles are some photos of pork queens. Rest assured that as a native Iowan (albeit expatriated) I will be keeping an eye on this topic, though. [UPDATE: I've now found the homepage of the reigning Pork Queen, Cassidy Jean Greiman, which has a lot of great pictures of pigs and other livestock to see, as well as an article from the Iowa State Daily whose author has a problem with the WSJ article on the Pork Queen, believing it to perpetuate a sterotype of Iowans as pig-loving farm folk. While I agree that it's very annoying when people on the coasts have no idea that Iowa, Ohio, and Idaho are separate states, and that they generally see midwesterners as ignorant hicks, I also get the feeling that the author is a little embarrassed of her state... I mean, by and large Iowans are rural country folk who are found wearing bib overalls more often than most other places. The majority of residents aren't farmers, but unless you live in Des Moines or something you're in frequent contact with farmers and corn and pigs and cows. Most Texans aren't cowboys or ranchers, either, but they seem to embrace their agricultural heritage with pride, why's it a negative stereotype for Iowans to do so? To sum up: Shame bad, pork queen good.]


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