A 3rd grade class from Danville Elementary in Danville, Iowa has won the 2022 Pizza-thon contest with a project titled The Iowa Special. The contest for Iowa students in grades K-5 was organized by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. Students were challenged to create an original pizza and illustrate where in Iowa the ingredients would be raised or produced.

The winning project – The Iowa Special – sported a unique Iowa shape and had sweet corn, bacon bits, pepperoni, sausage, BBQ sauce, and cheese toppings. Students illustrated an Iowa map depicting the source of each ingredient and how many miles away from their school it was. Students also explained the process of raising corn and pigs to be used for food.

“We were so excited to see students highlighting so many local producers and businesses with this year’s “My Iowa Pizza” theme,” said Chrissy Rhodes, IALF Education Program Coordinator. 

The first-place team, consisting of Mason, Willie, Chris, Linkoln, Beckett, and Kyden and taught by Josie Lane, will receive a pizza party as an award.

Both second and third-place teams in the competition also hail from Danville Elementary in Danville, Iowa and were taught by Josie Lane. The project titled The Brunch Pizza earned second place and presented a sweet and savory pizza with a waffle crust, syrup, sausage, eggs, and bacon. The project titled Bacon N Deer Pizza earned third place and presented a unique pizza using venison and bacon on a stuffed crust pizza. Both teams will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement. 

“It was so neat to watch students as the project continued to develop. Each day, students demonstrated teamwork, creativity, and an eagerness to learn more about agriculture in Iowa. When the project was complete, they were excited about the pizza they had created and proudly presented to their classmates,” said Lane.

“The project brought awareness of just how many things Iowa agriculture produces and how agriculture can be seen everywhere in our daily lives. Students became advocates for an industry that matters so much to our state."

The Pizza-thon program, originally developed in 1994 by Eldon Weber as a result of the Iowa State University “Vision 2020” program, has been newly adopted by IALF this year. Resources including a series of lesson plans were 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 Pizza-thon and other student programs, visit IowaAgLiteracy.org. 

Media photo downloads:

The Iowa Special - full poster

The Iowa Special - close up of pizza

The Iowa Special - close up of Iowa map

The Brunch Pizza - full poster

Bacon N Deer - full poster