Winning Teams Announced in Agriculture Literacy PizzaThon Contest

West Des Moines, Iowa – February 29, 2024 – A group of 4th grade students from Walcott Elementary in Walcott, Iowa, have won the 2024 PizzaThon contest with a pizza titled Mashed Potato Pizza. The winning students are taught by Jan Garland. The contest for Iowa students in grades K-5 was organized by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF). Students were challenged to create an original pizza focusing on the five MyPlate food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.  

The winning project – Mashed Potato Pizza – included mashed potatoes, sausage, shredded chicken, bacon, gravy, broccoli, salami, strawberries, mozzarella cheese, and stuffed crust filled with mashed potatoes. Students illustrated a U.S. map depicting the source of each ingredient and how many miles away from Iowa the ingredient was produced. Students also provided facts about pizza consumption, nutritional facts and how ingredients are processed. The first-place team will receive a pizza party as an award. 

“Understanding how agriculture works lays the foundation for our students’ future health,” said Kelly Foss, IALF Executive Director. “When students grasp the process of food production and learn to make balanced choices, they’re not just making healthier choices for today, but equipping themselves with lifelong skills for a healthier tomorrow.” 

Both second and third-place teams in the competition hail from Guthrie Center Elementary in Guthrie Center, Iowa, and were taught by Amber Wetzel. The project titled The California Pizza earned second place and presented an interesting flavor profile with a pizza of tomatoes, cheese, potato chips, bacon, snap peas, and turkey pepperoni on a wheat crust. The project titled Beef Stew Pizza earned third place and presented a unique pizza using potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, beef, tomatoes, cheese on a wheat crust. Both teams will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement.  

The farm-to-table pizza competition engages students in the science and social studies of producing pizza ingredients. Teachers are provided with lesson plans and resources to teach the concepts necessary to complete the project. The end artifact may be a poster, slideshow presentation, video, or a podcast. 

The PizzaThon program was originally developed in 1994 by Eldon Weber as a result of the Iowa State University “Vision 2020” program and was adopted by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation in 2022. Resources including a series of lesson plans are made available to educators to help teach students about where pizza ingredients come from using science, social studies, and English language arts standards. 

To learn more about PizzaThon and other student programs, visit  

MEDIA NOTE: Photos of the winning presentations are available for download:

1st Place: Walcott - Mashed Potato Pizza.pdf

2nd Place: Guthrie Center - The California Pizza.pdf

3rd Place: Guthrie Center - Beef Stew Pizza.pdf

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About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
Iowa is the leading producer of agricultural products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than nine billion by 2050. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. Through Agriculture in the Classroom efforts, IALF engages with teachers and students throughout Iowa. IALF is supported by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, GROWMARK, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Turkey Federation, Corteva Agriscience, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Nutrien, and others in support of strengthening agriculture literacy among pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and their students. For more information visit IALF online at, on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter).