Youth Leadership Team Contest

The next Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team competition will take place during the Iowa Pork Congress — at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines in January 2025.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association will select an Iowa Pork Queen and two Iowa Pork Youth Ambassadors to assist with state pork promotional and educational activities throughout the year.

Contestants will participate in interviewing and communications exercises and be judged on their skills, poise, presentation, and overall pork industry and agriculture knowledge. 

Questions? Contact Hannah Spurr at (800) 372-7675 or

APPLY HERE (starting Oct. 1)

Read about the 2024 Youth Leadership Team


Who's eligible?

The annual Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team Contest is open to any male or female who is passionate about the Iowa pork industry and meets the requirements listed below.

Contestant requirements include:

  • Senior in high school up to age 21 as of Jan. 1, 2025.
  • Contestants must be single with no children and remain so during the entire year as Iowa Pork Queen or Iowa Pork Youth Ambassador.
  • Contestants must be a resident of the state of Iowa.
  • Contestants must be involved in the pork industry or the son/daughter of parent or guardian involved in the pork industry — owner, operator or pork allied industry.
  • Parent or guardian is encouraged to be a member or associate member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
  • Contestants and/or parents may be members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, but it is not required.
  • Contestants must foster and promote the consumption of pork, both personally and publicly.
  • Contestants may not serve as an ambassador of other state level organizations while serving as the Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team.
  • Contestants may participate again, providing they were not selected as the Iowa Pork Queen or Iowa Pork Youth Ambassador and still meet the above requirements.
  • More than one candidate per county can participate.
  • One does not need to be their county’s queen or ambassador to be able to participate.

The Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team will be required to assist with state promotional and educational activities that include but are not limited to:

  • World Pork Expo
  • Iowa State Fair
  • Iowa Pork Congress
  • Various state promotional and educational activities totaling 100 hours

Scholarships & prizes

The Iowa Pork Queen receives:

  • $4,000 scholarship
  • Crown and sash
  • Plaque

Iowa Pork Youth Ambassadors receive:

  • $4,000 scholarship
  • Sash and name tag
  • Plaque

Starting in 2023: All youth contestants who complete the contest but do not get selected for the Youth Leadership Team will receive a $200 scholarship.

The Youth Leadership Team members also will gain valuable public relations and leadership experience through the many opportunities that these positions provide.

How to apply

To enter the contest, send the following information to IPPA between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2024.

  1. Participation Form – Complete the participation form with your intention of competing in the contest.
  2. Biography – Type a biography answering the following questions in about 500 to 700 words:
    — Major in college/ what you intend to major in/ what field of work you are in
    — Future plans
    — Describe your involvement in the pork industry
    — Describe your leadership experience (local and state)
    — Describe other activities (school, organizations, community, etc.)
    — Describe any jobs that you’ve held
    — Explain why you think the Pork Checkoff is important
  3. Contestant Photo – IPPA needs a “high resolution” photo of the candidate. The photo will be used at the contest and will be printed in the Iowa Pork Producer magazine.

Please submit your participation form, which will prompt you to attach a biography and photo. Questions? Contact Hannah Spurr at

We hope you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity. It’s a great way to gain valuable interview and public speaking experience, make friends and connections in the pork industry, educate the public about pork production, and build your resume!

Financial obligations

The Iowa Pork Producers Association covers the following contest expenses:

Snacks and food for contestants and parents.
Pizza party for contestants.
Hotel room for contestants at Des Moines Hilton Hotel.

Breakfast and lunch for contestants.
Banquet for contestants & parents (2).
Hotel room for contestants at Des Moines Hilton Hotel.

Contestants and parents are responsible for:

Travel – Mileage and expenses to and from Des Moines.
Lodging – For parents only.

Contestants are encouraged to contact their county pork producer organization early to discuss these costs. Many county groups are willing to help cover state contest expenses. 

Once elected as Iowa Pork Queen or Youth Ambassador, expenses will be covered by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Judging/point system

Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team contestants are judged on the following activities:

 Activity Points
 Personal interview 20
 Speech presentation 25
 Media interview 20
 Personal presentation 20
 Biographical form 5
 Skill-a-thon 10
 Total points 100


Personal interview — Each contestant will have a 10-minute personal interview with a panel of three judges. The interviews will be recorded for judging purposes only.

Speech presentation — Contestants will be required to present a speech on a subject relative to the pork industry. The speeches will be given in an extemporaneous style with contestants being allowed 30 minutes of prep time after they choose their speech topic. The speeches will be judged on content and delivery. Speeches are to be a minimum of 3 minutes and not to exceed 5 minutes. Speeches will be timed, and the times will be submitted to judges. Contestants are not allowed to bring their own notecards and will not be allowed props or other visual aides. Blank notecards and various resources will be provided to all contestants to write their speech during the 30-minute prep time. These notecards may be used during the speech and can hold any amount of information needed. Contestants will use a microphone for their speeches. Speeches will be recorded for judging purposes only.

Media Interview — Each contestant will participate in a mock media interview. They will be interviewed as if they were a representative of the pork industry. The interview will last about two to three minutes, and will center on topics related to the pork industry.

Personal presentation — Contestants will be continuously observed and judged on how they handle themselves in various situations, how they relate to others, how they present themselves, etc. They also will be judged on how they reflect professionalism through their business dress attire.

Biographical form — Participants will fill out and submit a contest participation form, including a written biography, prior to the competition to IPPA. The form will be sent to the judges prior to the competition. Forms must be submitted to the IPPA office by Nov. 30, 2024.

Skill-a-thon — Contestants will take a short quiz testing their knowledge of the pork industry.

How to dress

Contest activities: Business professional attire is required.

  • Girls: Professional dresses/skirts or dress pants/pantsuits are acceptable (no jeans). Close-toed shoes.
  • Boys: Professional suit or jacket with dress pants, dress shirt, and tie are acceptable (no jeans). Close-toed shoes.

Iowa Pork Congress Banquet: Formal attire is required. When representing the Iowa Pork Producers Association (at contest activities, banquets, promotional events, trainings, etc.), do not wear strapless or low-cut tops, dresses/skirts that aren't at least knee length, low-back styles, outfits that expose your midriff, jeans, flip flops, or transparent fabrics. For boys, a suit is considered formal attire.