They learned how to use the pollen from one variety of corn to fertilize another variety to produce a hybrid.The new variety grew ears that were better than either of its "parents." In the 1930s many farmers began buying hybrid corn seed.
State and county fairs were held and became show places for the best in all areas of agriculture.
They helped spread the news about new ideas and methods.
They have also meant Iowa's farm families are producing more than in the past.
Some of the changes that have occurred as a result of scientific advances have been good for Iowa; some have caused problems for Iowans.
Today, farmers improve crop production through the use of global positioning systems (GPS). Iowa farmers and agricultural scientists have benefited and contributed to the ever-evolving science of agriculture.
As new ideas were tried and applied to growing crops and livestock, they were shared and passed to the next generation as parents taught their children.
As the land became more settled and there were fewer and fewer acres of open prairie, farmers needed a way to keep their own cattle at home. Instead of grazing on open prairie, cattle were fenced in the farmer's own field and fed with corn.
This allowed Iowa farmers to transition from cattle grazing to cattle raising.
Today nearly all corn planted in the United States and much of the rest of the world is some hybrid variety.
Early in Iowa's settlement by European farmers, a number of institutions were established to encourage agricultural advances.