The 2023 Sunset on the Farm event on Sunday brought the biggest turnout yet — 100 people — for the annual fundraiser that supports nonprofit journalism.
Iowans were invited to enjoy wood-fired pizza, salad, wine, music, and scenery at Walker Homestead outside Iowa City to support the IowaWatch newsroom of Investigate Midwest.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to tell people about the work we do and why it matters to dominant farming states, like Iowa,” said Erin Orr, Investigate Midwest’s executive director, who attended the event. “Our mission is to hold accountable company leaders and policymakers, who are responsible for our food system.
A recent story about the impact of heat stress on farmworkers, by reporter Mónica Cordero, was republished or mentioned on 34 other news outlets, Orr said at the event, including National Public Radio and the front page of the Minnesota Star-Tribune.
In addition there was a silent auction, and live music from the Mission Bluegrass Band.
The amount raised has not yet been tallied.
There were 100 people who bought tickets, said Tatum Hussey, a senior at the University of Iowa, who helped coordinate the event as the student assistant. Heather Spangler, a UI event management instructor, said it was the biggest turnout in the event’s history. The first was held in 2015.
Investigate Midwest is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that provides news outlets with investigative reporting on agribusiness and industrial agricultural corporations. Its stories are available to other news outlets for free. IowaWatch was acquired as a part of Investigate Midwest in March 2022. Sunset on the Farm previously supported IowaWatch.
The 2023 presenting sponsor was The Gazette. Event sponsors include The Iowa Freedom of Information Council, and Alan and Elizabeth Swanson.
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