The smell was delicious as grills and smokers lined the concourse at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s 50th cookout contest held last week at the Iowa State Fair. Cooks from throughout the state left nothing to chance as they competed to be crowned contest champ.

But it was Justin Palmer, a Madison County Farm Bureau member from Winterset, who took home the cash prize and bragging rights.

"It feels good," said Palmer, who has competed in the contest the last seven years.

Palmer won the beef category and the grand champion prize with his boneless beef ribs. The ribs were prepared with a whiskey rub and a maple bacon glaze and were smoked to perfection.

"I smoked it with charcoal and applewood and whiskey barrel chips to keep with the whiskey theme," he said.

Father and son duo Steve and...