Hudson Salle of Benton County Captures Youth Division Title

Rashawn Parker of Boone took home the coveted championship crown and was named the 2021 Iowa Farm Bureau ‘Cookout Champion’ during the annual cookout contest at Farm Bureau Day at the Iowa State Fair.  Parker’s winning entry, Picanha steaks, a little-known cut of beef, often named sirloin cap or rump cover, impressed the judges with its robust flavor and juiciness and was voted as the championship-winning dish.            

Parker’s dish was favored by the judges over a wide array of entries from some of the state’s best backyard chefs during the annual contest held along the Grand Concourse at the Iowa State Fair.  In addition to being crowned the overall Farm Bureau Cookout Champion, Parker also won first place in the beef and showmanship categories.  

Competitors in the Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest first had to qualify by smoking, grilling, or barbecuing their way to victory in a county Farm Bureau contest in one of eight categories: Beef, Combo/Specialty, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, Turkey, Team, or Youth.  Parker qualified by winning the beef division during the Boone County Farm Bureau Cookout Contest, one of more than a dozen qualifiers held earlier this summer.     

The Iowa Farm Bureau-sponsored contest always features a range of entries and cooking styles.   Parker’s winning slow-smoked Picanha steak beat out traditional entries like prime rib, pork loin and stuffed chops and smoked chicken and turkey dishes.  Other exotic entries like venison and pheasant kabobs, smoked pork belly, Cornish game hen and turkey tacos caught the judges’ eyes and impressed fairgoers eager for samples and recipe cards from the participants.  

“The annual Farm Bureau Cookout Contest on the Grand Concourse is a great way to showcase the diversity of Iowa livestock production and celebrate some of Iowa’s best backyard cooks,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) President Craig Hill.  “We know Iowans love real meat raised on Iowa farms, and this contest provides a unique opportunity for consumers to learn and ask questions, witness the preparation of some incredible recipes and celebrate the diversity and importance of Iowa agriculture.”

Parker’s championship winning steak topped the other beef entries in route to being selected as the contest’s overall winner.  He received $200, the champion’s crown, and a trophy as the 2021 Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest Champion. Parker also won $150 for winning the showmanship division and an additional $150 for winning the beef division.  

Other first place winners, county contest represented, and their categories were: Shannon Glaser, Adair County, lamb; Elmer Totten, Hamilton County, pork; Hank Loyd, Fayette County, Poultry; Theresa Jones, Grundy County, turkey and Jeff Whitson, Benton County, combo/specialty.  All category winners won $150.  

Second place finishers, county contest represented, and their categories were: Steve Heaberlin, Warren County, beef; Robert Jones, Grundy County, lamb; Hudson Sallee, Benton County, pork; Duran Barlow, Hamilton County, combo/specialty and Malorie Ort, Hamilton County, youth.  All second-place category winners won $100.

Winners in special categories included youth first place, Hudson Salle of Benton County and the Gilbert FFA of Story County.  Sallee received a gas grill valued at $1,000 and $150, courtesy of the Iowa Propane Gas Association.  The team winners from Gilbert FFA received $200.      

Prize sponsors for the Farm Bureau Cookout Contest include: Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Bureau Financial Services, GROWMARK, Inc., Iowa Propane Gas Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Poultry Association, and the Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board.

Visit for Rashawn Parker’s championship-winning steaks and other recipes from the 2021 Cookout Contest.