Iowa is known throughout the United States as a major contributor to the nation's agricultural output, particularly when it comes to corn. It is also famous as ground zero, along with New Hampshire, for narrowing the presidential candidate list every four years. The flat landscape of Iowa has been made famous in films such as "Field of Dreams."
Thanks to its mild climate and rich soil, Iowa is the country's largest corn producer. It is also the third-most productive agricultural state in the nation, after California and Texas.
Americans are accustomed to focusing on Iowa every four years when the state holds its presidential caucuses. Held in January of every presidential election year, the caucuses, along with the New Hampshire primary, play a major role in determining the next president. As a result, candidates visiting the state during those periods spend a great deal of time reaching out to the residents of Iowa's 99 counties.
Iowa is also known for its Ames Straw Poll, a presidential straw poll conducted by state Republicans during presidential election cycles in which a Democrat is the presidential incumbent. The poll is also known as the Iowa Straw Poll. The first of these was held in 1979.