New state slogan: Fields of Opportunities

New state slogan: Fields of Opportunities

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa's new slogan: ``Fields of Opportunities.''

``When we think of Iowa we think of fields, certainly because agriculture is a major part of the state economy,'' Gov. Tom Vilsack said at Thursday's unveiling of the new slogan at the Iowa State Fair. ``But fields also refer to professional fields.''

The new slogan, which replaces ``Iowa: you make me smile,'' will be on highway signs, on state stationery and might also appear on license plates.

``It sends a wonderful message to all Iowans, especially to the young people of our state, about our sense of optimism for the future of our state and the hopes we have for Iowa as we approach the 21st Century.''

More than 7,500 Iowans cast their votes via the Internet, newspaper ballots and fax.

``Field of Opportunities'' beat out the other finalists: ``Today's Dreams, Tomorrow's Iowa,'' ``The Best Kept Secret,'' and ``Plant Visions; Harvest Dreams.''

Those finalists were picked in May by students from across Iowa who submitted 300-word essays about their expectations for Iowa in 2010.

Marty VandeHoef, 18, of MOC Floyd Valley, was part of the group that picked the slogan from more than 2,200 suggestions.

``I like the double meaning, how to different people it can mean different things,'' VandeHoef said.

Vilsack suggested changing the slogan shortly after taking office. He even suggested allowing Iowans to vote on the slogan in a special election this summer before structuring the program that allowed high school students to pick the slogan.

It does not change the state motto which remains, ``Our liberties we prize, our rights we will maintain.''

Lt. Gov. Sally Pederson said the new slogan was submitted by several Iowans.

Vilsack announcement of a slogan change prompted several tongue-and-cheek suggestions from across the state and country.

Those included ``Iowa: You pop my corn,'' ``Eat pork or die'' and ``Iowa: It's not as flat as you think.''

The state slogan was part of a Department of Economic Development tourism advertising campaign which more or less took over.

``I like the grow one better,'' said Patti Campbell, as she parked cars near the fairground.

``Iowa: You Make me Smile,'' replaced ``Iowa, a place to grow,'' which is written in stone sculptures along Iowa's interstate system.

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