Ryan's fair experience was brief and intense. There was no time for sampling pork chops or fried butter. He tried to make small talk and shake hands on the short walk to and from the stage where he delivered a 12-minute speech, but it was a hectic and crowded scene that made walking difficult at times.
Standing alongside Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Ryan told one fairgoer that he knew how to milk cows.
"We do cow milking contests in Wisconsin," he said, adding that he also likes demolition derbies.
Several people admitted that they didn't yet know Ryan.
"I think it's kind of cool that he's younger," said Josh Wandrey, 28, of Des Moines, who described himself as a religious conservative. "I hadn't heard of him."
Joe Church, a 56-year-old from Nichols, said he didn't vote for Obama four years ago and probably wouldn't this time. But he said he was concerned about Ryan's proposals for Medicare.
"I want something there when I have to draw," said the retired Heinz employee. "He's too much of an activist."
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