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The Week in Social 3/1-3/5

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

For Cole, a 23-year-old farmer from central Iowa, farming is a way of life that has been in his family for four generations. Now he’s sharing what life on an Iowa farm looks like with the rest of the world.

Two years ago, he started filming and sharing everything on YouTube under the name “Cole the Cornstar.” Cole now has just shy of 500k followers and says around six to eight million viewers tune into his channel monthly. His videos cover anything farm related: from renovating his grandfather’s homestead to the derecho that swept across Iowa, as well as videos that discuss farm expenses, income, equipment and more.

Like farming, vlogging has also become a family business. While they regularly appear in Cole’s videos, Cole’s dad and brother have YouTube channels of their own with large followings. These videos even reignited Cole’s dad’s (Daddy Cornstar) love for farming after the death of his own father.

“My dad died a few years ago of brain cancer. There was a span there, I really didn’t care if we farmed or not. I mean, I was just ready to hang it up. My dad was my best friend, we were always together,” said Daddy Cornstar. “And with Cole doing these videos it actually lightened me up. I got to visit with people and then I’m like, ‘Hey life does go on and you start thinking of the joyful things.’”

At the heart of these videos is the authenticity of a family sharing Iowa farm life and daily laughs with a fan base that’s twice as large as the state itself.

Does pineapple belong on pizza? The age-old debate has raged ever since the concept was introduced. A new topping that is receiving the same level of debate is Fong’s “Loopy Fruits Pizza.”

The pizza consists of a sweet cream cheese sauce base, topped with a layer of mozzarella, Froot Loops cereal and a finishing drizzle of Greek yogurt and condensed milk. Fong’s is making noise across the country as DiGiorno, Today and even Jimmy Fallon weighed in on the controversial pizza.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on a slice, the pizza is a permanent menu item at Fong’s in Des Moines at their 3018 Forest Avenue in Des Moines location.

Iowa STEM is helping teachers answer their students’ age-old question, “When will I ever use this?"

The Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program allows educators the opportunity to work side-by-side with skilled industry employees who bring curriculum to life. This program provides educators with exposure to real-world application of their classroom content and careers their students may have in the future.

The externships are full-time, six-week temporary summer positions in local businesses and agencies for secondary teachers of mathematics, science and/or technology. Teachers earn a stipend of up to $5,000, as well as three graduate credits through the University of Northern Iowa’s Continuing Education program.

Midwest Living, the travel magazine and site devoted to showcasing all that the Midwest has to offer, recently unveiled their “Best of the Midwest Winners” for 2021. The list is made up of attractions, eateries, bars and breweries, coffee shops and much more. Two Iowa cities and three Iowa locations landed a spot on the list, with Decorah’s Toppling Goliath Brewing Company and Des Moines’ East Village and Pappajohn Sculpture Park selected.

Published March 09, 2021

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