The annual Iowa State Fair Weed Identification Contest will be held on Friday, Aug. 12, from 9-11:30 a.m. in front of the John Deere Agriculture Building.
The event is organized by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and includes three divisions: future agronomists (youth under age 19), general and professional. The family-friendly contest offers an opportunity for people of all ages and skill levels.
Following the contest, winners will be announced at the 3 p.m. awards ceremony inside the John Deere Agriculture Building. Weeds will also remain on display for the duration of the fair on the lower level.
The top five 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 five 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, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach and contest organizer. “If you aren’t ready now, there’s plenty of time to study up and improve your skills!”
For more information, contact Meaghan Anderson at [email protected] 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)
- University of Missouri Weed ID Guide
- Michigan State University Turf Weeds
- University of Illinois Weed Identification page
- iNaturalist app available for Apple and Android devices or at iNaturalist.org