The Iowa State Fair continues to be a leader in the Fair industry earning numerous awards and honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 26-30, 2023.

Overall, the Iowa State Fair took home 23 awards in Communications, Competitive Exhibits, Agriculture Education, Sponsorship, and Non-Fair Usage. The Iowa State Fair was also recognized as a Best of Division 5, overall winner in Agriculture for the new Ag Art Contest for children displayed in the Animal Learning Center during the 2023 Iowa State Fair.

The IAFE awards are divided into five divisions based on attendance and are judged by a team of industry experts. The Iowa State Fair competed against other fairs and festival members with attendance over 1 million.

Jo Reynolds, Iowa State Fair Board member and general manager of the Warren County Agricultural Association in Indianola, Iowa was elected chair of the IAFE during the association’s annual business session on Wednesday, November 30, 2023. Reynolds has completed the Institute of Fair Management courses and the graduate tracks as well as served as an IAFE Zone 5 Director and on several IAFE committees. She is currently serving a second term as trustee on the IAFE Education Foundation.

Reynolds becomes the sixth person affiliated with the Iowa State Fair to serve in the prestigious role as IAFE Chair. Others include A.R. Corey (1933), Lloyd Cunningham (1950), Marion Lucas (2001), Gary Slater (2012), and Jeremy Parsons (2022).

Iowa State Fair Awards are as follows:

Hall of Honor Communications:

Out of the Box Marketing Promotion: 2nd Place

Online Advertisements: 3rd Place

Competitive Exhibits:

New Division of Competition: 1st Place

Competitive Exhibits Photo Series: 2nd Place

Competitive Exhibits Event/Contest/Activity Occurring During the Year: 2nd Place

Ag Awards:

Newly established or evolving program/exhibit at your Fair which promotes agriculture or a current agricultural issue to the Fair going public: 2nd Place

Program/event/exhibit designed to educate consumers/fair-going public on the Story of Food: 2nd Place

Agricultural Photo: Livestock (Not Equine): 2nd Place

Agriculture Individual Photo- Horticulture/Crops: 1st Place

Agriculture Individual Photo- Equine: 1st Place

Agriculture Individual Photo- Rodeo: 1st Place

Agriculture Individual Photo- Ag Education: 1st Place

Agriculture Individual Photo- Misc.: 3rd Place

Any other Agriculture Program/Exhibit: 1st Place


Sponsorship Innovation: 2nd Place

First-time Sponsorship: 1st Place

Sponsor Continuity: 3rd Place

Sponsor Exposure: 3rd Place


Successful Non-Fair Event at your Facility produced or co-produced by Facility Staff: 2nd Place

Best 1st Year event NOT Produced by Facility Staff: 2nd Place

Printed Promotional Material Specific to Facility Rentals: 1st Place

Facility Beautification Project: 1st Place

Capital Improvement Plan and Execution: 2nd Place

Overall Awards:

Agricultural Awards: Best of Division 5