Categories and Premium Books

Fairgoers prepare more than 65,000 entries to compete at the Iowa State Fair each year! Here’s what you need to know to join in on the fun and competition.

The Fair’s competitive events are grouped into categories. Rules, schedules and entry forms for each category can be found in their respective premium book section. Use the drop down menu below to select the category you are interested in.

For further information, please contact the Competitive Events Department at or 515.262.3111 x207.

select your entry category below

Iowa Family Living Premium Book

Iowa Family Living includes:

 Ag & Hort Crops, Apiary, Creative Arts & Crafts, Doll Houses & Miniature Rooms, Fabric & Threads, Floriculture, Food, Heritage, Iowa Commercial Wine, Oenology and Wood Projects.

Beginning June 15, entries will be accepted online or by mail.

Fine Art & Photography Premium Book

Fine Art - All entries must be submitted online at

Fine Art deadline - May 29, 2020

Photography - Learn how to mount your Iowa State Fair photos on our YouTube channel

Photography deadline - July 11 & 12, 2020 (UPDATED ENTRY DEADLINES)

Open Class Petstock Premium Book

Beginning June 15, entries will be accepted online or by mail.

Horse & Pony Premium Book

Beginning June 15, entries will be accepted online or by mail.

Note: Cowgirl Queen entries must be submitted by paper copy.

FFA Premium Book

Iowa FFA members who are interested in entering FFA shows at the Iowa State Fair need to contact their Chapter Advisor.

Advisors: Click below to submit nominations and entries -

Nominate/Enter Online

Performance Beef weigh in sheets, DNA sample envelopes and payment are due February 1.

Nomination deadline is May 15 June 1.

Entry deadline is July 1.

Other Premium Book


As an agricultural institution, we are proud to share our rich heritage through livestock education, entertainment and competition. The Iowa State Fair does not condone animal mistreatment of any kind. We have strict animal care policies in place, codes of ethics for 4-H and FFA members to abide by and an Animal Care Committee. We strive to make the Iowa State Fair a safe and enjoyable place for people and animals alike.

Purpose of the Animal Care Committee: The Animal Care Committee was established by the Iowa State Fair Board to ensure that all animals at the Fair receive the best care that is possible and practical. The Iowa State Fair is a showplace for animal agriculture in the state. Many animal species, in addition to livestock, are on exhibition at the Fair. Many attendees are not familiar with common standards of care for livestock, pets and other animals. The animal displays and exhibits are intended to provide enjoyment and education for exhibitors and the general public. The Committee endeavors to enhance the image of animal ownership, the Fair and to provide a positive experience for all involved.  

Code of Ethics/Premium Book Rules:

Iowa 4-H Code of Ethics

FFA Good Conduct Policy and Code of Show Ring Ethics

General Livestock Rule & Regulations - Code of Show Ring Ethics

Additional Resources:

Exhibitor Camping

Limited space is available for livestock exhibitors to camp in the Livestock Exhibitor Camping areas. Registration and payment for these areas will be required in advance. Camping spots will be offered first to those who submitted a camping registration form, exhibited livestock and camped in the lots during the 2019 Fair.  To be added to the waiting list for on grounds exhibitor camping during the 2020 Iowa State Fair, please send a letter of request by May 1 to:
Iowa State Fair
Livestock Exhibitor Camping
P.O. Box 57130
Des Moines, IA  50317

Livestock Exhibitor Camping Rules

Off Grounds Exhibitor Camping Form