“Dish This” Contest Promises to Serve Up Fun

Franklin County 4-H members who earned top awards in 2012 for promoting Iowa-grown foods include Collin Meints, in the Junior division, as well as Kendra Vanness and Ben Fahrmann in the Senior divisions.

Not everyone understands how food is grown.  Even those who buy fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market or try their hand at gardening aren’t always familiar with how to fix it.  Thanks to a revamped program being offered July 18 at the 2013 Franklin County Fair, however, fairgoers can learn a thing or two from 4-H members.  After all, these recipes will be simple enough for a fourth grader to fix!

An updated version of the Promote Your Commodities contest, Dish This!, features the use of Iowa-grown products in food dishes.  New contest categories include: Appetizer / Snack, Salad / Side Dish, Main Dish, Bread and Desserts.

The 2013 Franklin County Fair will be the fourth time Collin Meints of the West Fork Winners 4-H Club in Sheffield, Iowa, has participated in this contest.  When school gets out for the summer, he’ll be busy conducting research on websites and paging through cooking magazines to gain ideas for this year’s entries.  Of course, trying new recipes means he and his family get to “taste test” new recipes throughout the summer.

“My favorite part of this contest is getting to taste everyone’s entries once the judging is complete at the fair,” said Collin.  “My older brother participated in this contest before I was old enough to join 4-H.  He had fun, so I knew that I wanted to enter this contest once I became a 4-H member.”

Not only has he entered this contest, he’s conquered it!  Last year he took top honors in the Soy, Dairy, Beef and Pork categories.  Collin is sharing two award-winning recipes with us on TheFieldPosition.  His recipe for Pork and Bean Bars, promoting soybeans, earned him a purple ribbon in 2012.  Collin also received a purple ribbon in 2010 for promoting dairy with a Morning Orange Drink.

Pork and Bean Bars



  • 1, 15-oz can pork and beans (do not drain)
  • 1 small (8 oz.) can (undrained) crushed pineapple
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. vegetable oil (I use soy oil)
  • 1½ cups all all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup soy flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting



  1. Heat oven to 350°. Spray a jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a blender, puree beans and pineapple; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and oil. Mix well.
  2. Add flour and soy flour, baking soda,  and cinnamon to egg mixture and mix.
  3. Add beans and pineapple; mix well.
  4. Pour into a sprayed jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
  5. Cool completely and frost.
  6. Makes 24 servings.

COOK’S NOTE:  I found this recipe in the "Generations of Caring" cookbook from the Sheffield Care Center and Deerfield Place Assisted Living.