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2009 IFB cookout champion crowned at Iowa State Fair


For the 46th summer, the top grillers in Iowa brought their unique recipes and the state's finest meat products to the Iowa State Fair's main concourse for the Farm Bureau Cookout Contest. This year, Krystal Miler of Osceola was named Iowa Farm Bureau state cookout champion. Miler won the title today with a recipe called Lemon Basil Romano Turkey Breast.

The Iowa Farm Bureau-sponsored contest featured 44 outdoor chefs using their best grilling, roasting and smoking techniques. "The Farm Bureau Cookout Contest is really a celebration of two groups of food experts doing what they do best," said Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang. "Iowa's livestock farmers use generations of animal care experience and the latest food safety technology to raise safe and wholesome meat, while grilling enthusiasts use their experience and knowledge to ensure end consumers an enjoyable meal."

Cookout champion Miler won first place in the turkey category before being selected by the judges as the overall winner. She received $200 and a permanent trophy as the cookout champion and $75 as the turkey category winner.

Other first place winners and their categories were Gary Ruth of Mount Pleasant, beef; Nate Miller of Davenport, pork; Steve Pittman of Fairfax, lamb/goat; Eric Miller of Allison, poultry; and Steve Heaberlin of Indianola, combo/specialty. All winners received $75.

Second place winners and their categories were Sam Kuckes of Mount Pleasant, beef; Brett Richards of Vinton, pork; Lelah Swallow of Des Moines, lamb/goat; Eddie Starr of West Branch, poultry; Melissa Kerr of Murray, turkey; and Mary Weisinger of Fort Madison, combo/specialty. All second place winners received $50.

Winners in special categories were youth - Zach Watkins of Charles City; showmanship - Steve Heaberlin of Indianola; and team - Nancy and Kennedy Halbur of Manning. The youth winner received $50 and a gas grill. The showmanship winner received $100. The team winners received $150. In addition, all received a trophy.

Prize sponsors include the 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, the Iowa Poultry Association and the Iowa Meat Goat Association. The Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board is also a sponsor of the contest.

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