I’ve discovered that farmers are the nicest people on the planet!!! So it was with great pleasure that I accepted Shannon’s request to come to Des Moines to photograph the annual Grassroots Summit for the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
Shannon and I met at one of the US Grains Council events that I’ve photographed over the years. She worked with her team in arranging all the details to get me to their event at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeney, just north of Des Moines, Iowa. So I owe her a HUGE Thank You!
Most of the delegates and guests at the event are local farmers. So they were able to drive to the event. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces from photographing other conferences involving the farming and grains communities. To be honest, I’ve begun to think of many of these folks as my friends!
Luckily the weather was absolutely gorgeous, which allowed me to start my coverage with a few drone shots of the venue. When covering such conferences, I like to tell the “story” of the day from start to finish. A few cool establishing shots from the DJI Mini 3 Pro are a great way to do this. Next I switched to a pair of Nikon Z9 bodies, rotating between the Nikkor 14-30 f4 Z, 24-70 f2.8 Z, and 70-200 f2.8 Z as needed. For additional lighting, I brought 6 Flashpoint Zoom Li-On II strobes.
After getting registered, everyone had time to mingle and catch up with one another. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, kicked things off with a fantastic keynote address. There was a delicious luncheon before delagates began debating and discussing various topics. Then Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg raised some fantastic points during his keynote address. After more discussions it was time for dinner. And finally we transitioned into the highlight of the program, the Awards Banquet!
It was a long day, but super fun and rewarding! I hope I get asked back to photograph it again next year!!!