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Blue Ribbon

Westin, 11, prepares to show his cow Hank.
19-year-old Noah, here with his cow Charlene, is already a veteran at the Iowa State Fair’s cattle shows.
Lynn Henry of Warren County, IA, stands proud behind his “Super Bull,” which was just awarded as the heaviest in the state at 2,710 lbs.
Before every show, each handler takes deliberate care washing and drying their livestock.
Floating above the crowds in the Sky Glider.
One of the jumbo produce entries, this pumpkin from Peosta, IA, weighed 698 lbs.
The prize winner for biggest tomato.
Sarah Pratt is the Iowa State Fair’s fifth official butter sculptor since 1911, and the artist behind the iconic Butter Cow, one of the fair’s most popular attractions.
The overall corn prize is awarded to the contestant able to submit cobs whose kernels display the most consistency, from color to size to texture.
A funnel cake break was a necessity.
Zeb is a 70-time national champion, pulling in awards for the Hunter, Jumper, Roadster, Pleasure Driving, Park Harness, Liberty, and Obstacle show categories.
Alex, and her horse Red, share a moment of calm in the midst of the fair’s frenetic schedule.
In the thrill zone.
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August 2019

Photography by Bryan Derballa

Over the last 165 years, the Iowa State Fair has become a quintessential institution of the American summer. We headed there this
year to experience it in its best, biggest, fastest, finest, blue-ribboned entirety. It’s an ambitious, delightful-for-its-own-sake endeavor that
mirrors our philosophy at Best Made: to make the best even better. The people we met along the way were introduced to us through word
of mouth — young and old alike shared a deep pride in their work. The fair provides a chance for farmers to put their private work, time, and
years of acquired skill on display, perfected and presented for the delight of the public.