Iowa State Fair: Cast Your Kernel For Animal of the Day & Mutton Bustin’

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Visitors to the Iowa State Fair can Cast Their Kernel not just at the WHO-HD booth, but also at the Avenue of Breeds.

For years the Avenue of Breeds has given fairgoers and up-close look at various animals found on Iowa farms. That would include an elk, with a giant rack, and fish from a fish farm, as well as cattle, sheep, and pigs.

“Cast your kernel you vote on your favorite animal of the day,” said Sydney Anderson, of the North Polk Future Farmers of American Chapter. “So when you’re the animal of the day we put up a little banner in front of the animal and they get to be the animal of the day.”

Nearby the Biggest Boar is also hanging around. “Captain” weighed in at 1,257 pounds, he’s owned by Bryan and Trisha Britt, of Monticello.

Nearby the Biggest Bull is in the Cattle Barn, his name is DHL Upward 122. The big bull weighed in at 2,710 pounds. He’s owned by DHL Angus from Indianola.

At the Mutton Bustin arena outdoors in the southwest area of the fairgrounds, four-year-old Dakoda Sheridan rode the distance of the arena hanging on for six seconds.

“She wanted to do it yesterday, so, it was a little nervous but she did good,” said Danielle Sheridan, Dakoda’s mother.

The Iowa State Fair Museum next to Pioneer Hall is a place with lots of stories, of things past at the Fair. Things like trains being slammed head-on for entertainment, or the story of a giant wooden roller coaster which was torn down after 1900, the wood was used to build some east side homes. The building was built in 1889 as a stop for residents visiting the Fair from the Poor Farm.

“It was to bring people from the Poor Farm, out in Polk County Headquarters. In that generation they believed everybody deserved a day at the fair,” said Jen Morrison, of the Fair Museum. “So they would use this building as a place they could come and rest, they could get a meal in our kitchen.”

The Iowa Parks and Rec Association sponsored a pie-eating contest. One of the contestants Hannah Koellner of Eddyville.

“That was one of the best jobs, eating the pie contest,t was fun and really good,” said Hannah Koellner, Iowa State Fair Queen. “I’ve been going to different events just like these contests, going handing out ribbons, serving yesterday we did at pork producers I got to be the chef master, lots of interviews, and just walking around seeing people, seeing what everyone’s doing.”

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