Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland." It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New France. After the Louisiana Purchase, settlers laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt. Iowa is often known as the "Food Capital of the World". Des Moines is Iowa's capital and largest city.
The Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption was so powerful that there was volcanic ash falling as far east as Iowa. This effectively wiped out the harvest in America's breadbasket for that year since the amount of ash was enough to bury crops in the fields, cover roads, train tracks and silos along with choke the engines of tractors, harvesters and trucks.