Portal:Iowa

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Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States of America on the rolling hills between the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. The state is the center of one of the Earth’s most productive agricultural regions. Admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th State. Iowa ranks 26th in total area and 30th in population among the 50 states. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 3,007,856 in 2009. Des Moines is the capital, most populous city, and center of the most populous metropolitan area of Iowa.



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Main entrance to the company’s plant in West Liberty, Iowa in 2006

West Liberty Foods, L.L.C. is an American meat processing company owned by the Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative and formed in 1996 by a group of Iowa turkey growers, and now owns four meat processing plants. The company mainly produces products for customers to sell under their own brand names. As of 2006, West liberty Foods was the 12th largest turkey company in the United States. Each plant, located in the three Iowa towns of West Liberty, Mount Pleasant, and Sigourney as well as Tremonton, Utah, focuses on specific aspects of the meat packing process. The West Liberty plant participates in the entire process by slaughtering animals, further processing meats into products, and packaging finished products, and the Sigourney plant focuses on the further processing step only, and the Mount Pleasant plant only packages finished product. While West Liberty Foods has experienced growth and received industry recognition since its inception, it initially faced a difficult market for turkeys, and has experienced problems with labor discontent. Employees remain with the company for an average of nine years, with more than 1500 employed.


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Bix Beiderbecke's grave at Oakdale Cemetery in Davenport, Iowa
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer. With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz trumpet/cornet soloists of the 1920s. His turns on "Singin' the Blues" (1927) and "I'm Coming, Virginia" (1927), in particular, demonstrated an unusual purity of tone and a gift for improvisation. Especially these two recordings helped to invent the jazz ballad style and hinted at what, in the 1950s, would become cool jazz. "In a Mist" (1927), one of a handful of his piano compositions but the only one he recorded, mixed classical influences with jazz syncopation. Beiderbecke has also been credited for his influence, directly, on Bing Crosby and, indirectly, via saxophonist Frank Trumbauer, on Lester Young. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Beiderbecke taught himself to play cornet largely by ear, leading him to adopt a non-standard fingering that some critics have connected to his original sound. He first recorded with a Midwestern jazz ensemble the Wolverines in 1924, after which he played briefly for the Detroit-based Jean Goldkette Orchestra before joining Frankie "Tram" Trumbauer for an extended gig at the Arcadia Ballroom in St. Louis, Missouri. Beiderbecke and Trumbauer both joined Goldkette in 1926. The band toured widely and famously played a set opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City in October 1926. The following year, Trumbauer and Beiderbecke left Detroit to join the best-known and most prestigious dance orchestra in the country: the New York–based Paul Whiteman Orchestra. A few stints in rehabilitation centers, as well as the support of Whiteman and the Beiderbecke family in Davenport, did not check Beiderbecke's fall. He left the Whiteman band in 1930 and the following summer died in his Queens apartment at the age of twenty-eight.


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Blackhawk Hotel in Downtown Davenport



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Herbert Clark Hoover by Greene, 1956.jpg
The 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa.
Official presidential portrait by Elmer Wesley Greene
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  4. Steve King (R)



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