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Drake series to explore legacy of the Iowa State Fair

July 2, 2010
CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

John Putney, executive director of the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, will discuss the history and significance of the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday, July 27, at Drake University.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Reading Room of Cowles Library, 2725 University Ave. RSVP is requested by July 20, to Susan Breakenridge at 515-271-3994 or susan.breakenridge@drake.edu.

Putney will explain the legacy of the Iowa State Fair and its significant role in Iowa. He will also talk about the campaign to renovate the Iowa State fairgrounds.

In conjunction with the presentation, an exhibit on Drake alumnus Phil Stong, who wrote the book "State Fair," will be on display. The display will be available in the Collier Heritage Room.

The Iowa State Fair Board appointed Putney, a native of Gladbrook, Iowa, to the position of executive director. From 1989 until accepting this position, Putney served as a special assistant to Sen. Charles Grassley.

During his tenure with Grassley, Putney planned statewide activities to foster economic growth and coordinated numerous federal conferences. He also served as state senator from 2003-08.

A graduate of Iowa State University, Putney operated a 1,100-acre grain and livestock operation in Tama County for 23 years. He has been an avid participant in the Iowa State Fair for many years as an exhibitor, president of the Sale of Champions and beef superintendent. In addition, Putney has been active in numerous civic and agricultural organizations.