The annual ISU Extension & Outreach Iowa State Fair Weed Identification Contest will be held on Friday, August 12, from 9 – 11:30 a.m. in front of the John Deere Agriculture Building. With three divisions (Future Agronomists (youth under age 19), General, and Professional), the contest offers fun competition for the entire family! Following the contest, winners will be announced at the 3 p.m. awards ceremony inside the John Deere Agricultural Building. Weeds will also remain on display for the duration of the fair on the lower level of the John Deere Agriculture Building.
The top 5 winners in each division will walk away with a cash prize and a coveted Iowa State Fair ribbon. Future agronomists will identify 20 common Iowa weeds, those in the general division will identify 30 weeds, and professionals will identify all 30, plus 5 extra challenging Iowa weeds.
“Each year is an exciting opportunity to choose a variety of common and uncommon Iowa weeds to keep contestants guessing! We invite all weed identification enthusiasts to see how their ID skills stack up against the best,” said Meaghan Anderson, extension field agronomist and contest organizer. “If you aren’t ready now, there’s plenty of time to study up and improve your skills!”
For more information on the contest, please reach out to Meaghan Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Iowa State Fair Contests page online. Not sure you’re ready for the big day? Use the ID resources below to study up and sweep your division:
- Weed Identification Field Guide – 2nd Edition, $5-$10
- U of Missouri Weed ID Guide
- Michigan State University Turf Weeds
- U of Illinois Weed Identification page
- iNaturalist app available for Apple and Android devices or at iNaturalist.org