The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


Michelle Obama starts 'Let's Move' tour in Iowa

First Lady Michelle Obama leads the dancing during today's kickoff of a nationwide tour celebrating the second anniversary of "Let's Move." She was joined by fitness expert Bob Harper and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, at right, and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, in rear. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is just visible on the right. The event was attended by 10,000 sixth and seventh graders. (USDA/Darin Leach)

First Lady Michelle Obama began her three-day “Let’s Move” anniversary tour in Iowa today, urging children to make their own decisions to be more active and eat healthier.

"You all probably already know that when you eat healthy foods instead of chips and candy, you feel better and you have more energy," Obama told about 10,000 sixth and seventh graders attending a rally at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

"You can run faster, you can play longer, you can perform better out on the basketball court or the soccer field. But did you know that exercises like running and hiking can actually help your brain work better, too?," the first lady said.

Obama also told the chhildren, "you're at an age where you can make good choices for yourselves in your lives ...You're already starting to decide so much about your lives, right? You don't want your mother telling you what clothes to wear or who to hang out with, right? You guys are making those decisions about what clubs and sports you're going to join, right? So you can also choose to eat healthier. That's your decision. You can make the choice to be more active in your lives."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, “warmed up the crowd” and Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, declared “Let’s Move Day” as part of the state’s initiative to move from 16th to first in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index by 2016.

"I am proud that you guys are starting community gardens, that you're eating your fruits and vegetables," Obama told the Iowa children. "I'm proud that you guys are walking to school instead of taking the bus. I'm proud that you're working hard to get that 60 minutes of activity a day, every day. I'm also proud of your government, and businesses like Hy-Vee, and community leaders across the state who are all coming together to help you guys get healthy, to keep moving."

The first lady led the stadium in the “Interlude Dance,” a pool report said. “The kids and FLOTUS [the Secret Service term for the First Lady of the United States] were very into it; Govs. Vilsack and Branstad, slightly less so.”

Afterward, a giant birthday cake made of oranges, bananas and other fruit was unveiled on the stage.

“After singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ confetti and balloons showered from the rafters, sending the young audience into a frenzy,” the report said.