Hayden Fry helps plug new Iowa initiative to recognize farmers

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March 31, 2014 | 5:13 pm

IOWA CITY — The yellow “ANF” decal Hayden Fry slapped on the top of Iowa football helmets a generation ago was reborn Friday as part of a new marketing initiative between Iowa athletics and Iowa Farm Bureau.

The entities announced a partnership Friday to designate Kinnick Stadium’s northwest corner as “ANF Plaza.” The plaza in 2012 will include a bronze plaque and a wall of fame to commemorate the “America Needs Farmers” campaign Fry started in 1985. Iowa Farm Bureau will invest in Hawkeye Sports Properties within the partnership.

“We thought this would be a great way to not only recognize a very unique commitment by Coach Fry, but also to recognize the farming industry in the state of Iowa,” said Rick Klatt, Iowa’s associate athletics director for external affairs.

Fry, 82, appeared at a news conference, touting his upbringing on a Texas farm. He said the ANF campaign was designed to bring attention to the plight of Iowa farmers in the mid-1980s.

“Putting the ANF decal on the headgear received national recognition,” Fry said. “I got a great call from Willie Nelson, who asked permission to use the ANF decal when he was doing a lot of shows and benefit shows for the farmers. It was the right thing to do.”

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