WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Farm Bureau and the University of Iowa Athletics Department announced former Hawkeye great and Super Bowl champion Bryan Bulaga as the 2023 America Needs Farmers (ANF) Wall of Honor recipient. Bulaga marks the 11th former Hawkeye to join the ANF Wall of Honor at Kinnick Stadium. The ANF Wall of Honor salutes past University of Iowa football players who exemplify the tenacity, work ethic and character of the Iowa farmer.
Bulga’s path to success was defined by hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity, just like Iowa’s farm families who know all about overcoming challenges. From earning a spot on Iowa’s football team as a freshman, to becoming a first-round NFL Draft pick and winning Super Bowl XLV, Bulaga has earned accolades for his play on the field and the work ethic that defines his character. Today, Bulaga recognizes the importance of instilling the work ethic that defines ANF to the next generation.
Bulaga’s NFL career stretched over a decade with the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Chargers, and he was regularly recognized as one of the NFL’s top offensive linemen. Bulaga had a standout career for the Hawkeyes, culminating with an Orange Bowl win in 2010. Bulaga persevered through multiple knee injuries and overcame thyroid disease during his football playing days, and the character Bulaga displayed to overcome his challenges earned his recognition on the ANF Wall of Honor.
“As a father, I want to pass down that ANF mentality to my kids. Toughness, determination and the ability to face adversity and push through are things my wife and I try to pass down to our kids.”Bryan Bulaga
“If I’ve learned anything in my football career, it’s that winners never give up, no matter the obstacles,” said Bulaga. “To me, that’s what sets America’s farmers apart from others. In no other country do so few people not only produce the food and fiber we need, but also help ensure national security and economic stability, while weathering many challenges along the way. For that, I am forever grateful.”
Previous ANF Wall of Honor recipients include Casey Wiegmann (2012), Jared DeVries (2013), Bruce Nelson (2014), Robert Gallery (2015), Dallas Clark (2016), Chad Greenway (2017), Aaron Kampman (2018), Matt Kroul (2019), Marshal Yanda (2021) and Tony Moeaki (2022).
A gold ANF decal was placed on players’ helmets during the Hawkeyes’ 1985 Rose Bowl season by head coach Hayden Fry to show support for farmers during the 1980’s Farm Crisis. This year marks the 38th anniversary of ANF and its longstanding tribute to America’s farmers.
“We look forward to the annual ANF game and the opportunity to celebrate the importance of agriculture and connect Hawkeye fans with Iowa farmers to learn about the diversity of Iowa ag and farmers’ commitment to sustainability,” says IFBF President Brent Johnson. “Bryan Bulaga is a great addition to the ANF Wall of honor this year. He reflects everything ANF stands for — strong work ethic, determination, a commitment to improving and doing things the right way.”
Fans can show their ANF and Hawkeye pride by purchasing ANF merchandise during game day, Oct. 21 versus Minnesota, in shops around the stadium. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Iowa Food Bank Association, with more than $180,000 raised to feed hungry Iowans since the partnership began.
For more information about ANF and Game Day activity announcements in the coming weeks, visit americaneedsfarmers.org.