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Freefalling off the side of a horse galloping 30 miles an hour? Call it a trick, if you like, but trick riding is more about athleticism, communication, and nerve. With a heaping dose of showmanship thrown in. Saddle up with Iowa sisters Abigail and Meishja Petersen as the Wild Riders astonish the crowd at the Wapello Rodeo. Photographed and produced by David Peterson for The Iowan.

From mid-May to mid-September, each weekend brings another Iowa barbeque showdown. Behind the fragrant haze of smokers and the pitmasters' secret seasoning and sauce, Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) certified judges gather to scrutinize, score, and strengthen the American Way of Life. Photographed and produced by David Peterson for The Iowan at the All American BBQ Bash in Ames, Iowa September 3-4, 2011.

What began as a bold dream nearly a decade ago is today Kirkwood Community College’s “hip, urban, and trendy” learning laboratory. The Hotel at Kirkwood Center — a world-class conference center and boutique hotel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa — combines classrooms, student spaces, and teaching kitchens with hands-on, real-life work experience that’s preparing tomorrow’s hospitality industry leaders. 

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