"White-bread, cornfed, understated Iowa was the first state to ratify the black rookie Barack Obama and has usurped the role everyone thought California would play as a leader in the fight to give gays the right to marry."
"Matt McCoy, an openly gay Iowa legislator, was so excited by the court’s unanimous decision that he posted a video inviting everyone, “gay and straight,” to come get married and settle in Iowa."
And why not? It's not ordained anywhere that California and New York have to be cultural leaders. They just decided that they were. But there are many nice things about Iowa.
Ragbrai, for starters. http://www.ragbrai.org/
Excellent universities, including, IIRC, the oldest statistics department, at Iowa State.
Friendly people. Having done Ragbrai, I can vouch for the high quality of the pie served at Iowa churches.
Rural Iowa has been depopulating for decades. This has happened all over the midwest as farm employment has declined. But this doesn't have to be permanently the case. On days when I telecommute, I could just as well be in Iowa (or India, as many of my co-workers are).