Competition FAQ + Event Schedule

Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest

County Contest Dates
County Date Time Location Contact
Worth 6/16/2023 2p.m. to 5 p.m. Worth County Fairgrounds Teresa Stehn: 641-324-1472,
Allamakee 6/17/2023 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Big 4 Fair, Postville Craig Mostaert: 563-380-8222
Benton 6/24/2023 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Benton County Fairgrounds Alaina McGovern: 319-472-4710
Lee 7/8/2023 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Lee County Fairgrounds Angela Blint: 319-835-5126
Keokuk 7/8/2023 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Keokuk County Expo Neil Wehr: 641-660-3359
Warren 7/14-15/2023 7 p.m. to 12 p.m. West Walnut St. (by Highway 5 Auto Sales), Hartford Keisha Thompson: 515-961-6261,
Iowa 7/15/2023 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Iowa County Fairgrounds Bev Arp: 319-668-1331,
Shelby 7/15/2023 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shelby County Fairgrounds Kyle Manz: 515-240-1353,
Clinton 7/16/2023 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lost Nation Scott Doll: 319-551-6016,
Adair 7/16/2023 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Adair County Fairgrounds Karen Stamper: 515-418-1872,
Fayette 7/18/2023 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fayette County Fairgrounds Jessica Dahlk: 319-668-1331,
Boone 7/22/2023 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Boone County Fairgrounds Megan Eastman: 641-425-6383,
Ida 7/22/2023 TBD Ida County Fairgrounds Kysa Radke: 712-364-2931, or
Grundy 7/22/2023 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Grundy County Fairgrounds Clay Geiter: 319-442-7044,
Jones 7/23/2023 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jones County Fairgrounds Kellie Lasack: 563-495-4772
Louisa 7/23/2023 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Louisa County Fairgrounds Scott Heater: 319-850-0532
Madison 7/23/2023 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Madison County Fairgrounds Jodie Holliday: 515-462-2661,
Hamilton 7/29/2023 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hamilton County Fairgrounds Randy Gruefe: 515-297-2514,
Clayton 8/5/2023 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Clayton County Fairgrounds Kristin Oberbroeckling: 515-880-9559
Woodbury 8/5/2023 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Woodbury County Fairgrounds Troy Kelsheimer: 515-297-2514,
Tama 8/12/2023 TBD 2nd St., Traer (west of Hometown Foods) Cordt Holub: 319-415-4077

Competition FAQ
Do I need to pay to enter the Iowa State Fairgrounds? Iowa Farm Bureau will provide contestants with two Iowa State Fair tickets and one parking pass. Additional tickets for family members/friends are at your expense.

What time can I arrive? 
You may arrive as early as 1 a.m. to set up and begin cooking. Please be in place with all vehicles off the Grand Concourse by 7 a.m.
What gate do I need to use? Contestants will be provided parking permits and must use Gate 8 on Dean Avenue from 1-7 a.m. You will also be provided with a permit to park outside Gate 13 in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds.

How large of a space do I have to cook in? 
Each contestant is given a 12 x 12 space.

What do I need to bring, and what is provided by Farm Bureau? 
Contestants are responsible for 100% of what they need, including a tent, folding tables, chairs, your grill/smoker, meat and ingredients, cooking tools, toothpicks, napkins, paper towels, etc. For those who need electricity, Iowa Farm Bureau will provide it (however, please bring an extension cord).

There is an hour and a half judging period, how can I make sure I’m serving judges at the best time according to my dish?
Assistants to the judge will ask you prior to official judging when your dish will be ready. Assistants will create a timeline within each category that aligns as closely as possible with “done” times given to them by contestants. Please be patient if there is a delay.

How can I compete in showmanship? If you have not already signed up prior to August 15, you may still compete in showmanship during registration at the west end of the Cookout Contest area.

Am I expected to give fairgoers samples as they visit the event? No, this is not an expectation of the competition. You are welcome to serve samples if you have extra food; however, don’t forget to hold a portion back in the event the Grand Champion judge circles back to your tent.
Tuesday, August 15, 2023 event timeline:
1 a.m. - Contestants are allowed to enter the state fairgrounds and begin set up.
7 a.m. -  All contestants must be set up on the Grand Concourse. Registration opens.
9:30 a.m. - Judging begins.
11:00 a.m. - Judging ends and scores are tabulated.
11:45 a.m. - Winners are announced.
1 p.m. - Contestants must be off the Grand Concourse.