The 11th Annual Benton County Farm Bureau Cookout Contest is set for Saturday June 30 at the fairgrounds in Vinton. This will be in conjunction with the Benton County Fair activities. There is no cost to enter the contest, although pre-registration is requested. Interested grillers are asked to call the Benton County Farm Bureau office at (319) 472-4710 or e-mail

Bill Newton, contest coordinator, says “You do not have to be a professional cook to participate.” The Cookout Contest has been growing every year since Farm Bureau began sponsoring the event in 2007. Grillers are competitive and get creative with their meat preparation, while enjoying the county fair activities.

“This is a fun contest to promote quality Iowa meat.” says Newton. Judging of entries will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the grilling categories are beef, pork, lamb, poultry, turkey and combo/specialty. There is also a youth category for grillers age 13 to 18 years of age and people may also enter as a team to compete. Entries are judged on the basis of taste, appearance and originality.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first place winners in each category and a Grand Champion will be named for 2018. All first-place category winners will have the chance to compete in the Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest at the Iowa State Fair on Tuesday August 14, 2018.

Come join the fun and help Farm Bureau bring the heat at the 11th Annual Cookout Contest during the Benton County Fair on Saturday June 30. Please contact the Benton County Farm Bureau office for more details and to register.