The Iowa Meat Processors Association kicked off the 2015 Iowa State Fair with its annual cured meats competition on Aug. 13 in the Agriculture Building.
Nearly 50 Iowa lockers and meat processors entered their best bone-in ham and bacon products for judging by a team of Iowa State University meat experts on internal and external appearance, texture, flavor and aroma.
This year’s competition featured 17 ham and 29 bacon entries and the quality of products created some very close and difficult judging.
In the bacon category, John Tiefenthaler of Tiefenthaler Quality Meats in Holstein entered the Grand Champion and took home the top prize of $300 and a plaque.
Jim Kerns of the Edgewood Locker in Edgewood entered the Reserve Grand Champion bacon and earned $150 and a plaque.
The Bone-in Ham Grand Champion was Tom Smith from S and S Locker in Osage, which won $300 and a plaque.
The Reserve Grand Champion Bone-in Ham went to Andy Thesing of Jet’s Meat Processing in Waukon. Thesing took home $150 and a plaque.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association is a proud supporter of the IMPA and annually provides the prize money for the state fair competition. Past IPPA President Scott Tapper and his wife, Lisa, represented the association at the contest and helped with the judging.
The winning ham and bacon entries were displayed in the cooler of the Agriculture Building during the fair and were auctioned off on Aug. 23.
IMPA is headquartered in Clarence and represents 80 Iowa lockers and meat processing companies.