Iowa’s cattle producers are asking their fellow Iowans to help find Iowa’s Best Burger in 2016. In this year’s quest, the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) are encouraging you to nominate your favorite burger, whether it’s gourmet or down-home style.

This is the seventh year the two groups are holding the annual Iowa’s Best Burger contest, which officially kicked off Feb. 15. All nominations must be in the IBIC office by 5 p.m. on March 9.

“We are in search of Iowa’s Best Burger,” says Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications for the ICA. “To qualify to be named Iowa’s Best Burger, the burger must be a 100 percent beef burger and served on a bun or bread product.”

In order to recognize these great burgers, IBIC and ICA are asking Iowa consumers to nominate their favorite burgers for the award, and those nominations can be made by mail, text, or online.

Details about the contest rules and nomination forms are available on the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s website, www.iabeef.org. Burger lovers can also find a link to the online nomination form at the Iowa Beef Council Facebook page; or by texting BEEF to 313131. Photos of your favorite burger can be shared socially using #IABestBurger.

“Iowa’s restaurants are a valuable partner to the beef industry, and they do a tremendous job of preparing and serving our beef products in delicious and creative ways,” says Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the IBIC. “Although burgers are often standard fare, we know from experience that the winners of this contest serve outstanding burgers.”

The nomination period ends March 9. German noted that the top 10 restaurants with the most votes are eligible for the title of Iowa’s Best Burger. “An anonymous panel of judges will visit each of the top 10 restaurants to determine the winner.”

The top 10 finalists will be announced on March 15. Finalists will receive a certificate and will be eligible for the secret taste-test of contest judges. The 2016 Best Burger in Iowa will be announced on May 2 and will kick-off May Beef Month.

In 2015, more than 4,000 nominations for 286 restaurants were received in the contest. The final winners in previous years are: 2015 – The Cider House, Fairfield; 2014 — Brick City Grill, Ames; 2013 — 61 Chop House Grille, Mediapolis; 2012 — Coon Bowl III, Coon Rapids; 2011 — Rusty Duck, Dexter and 2010 — Sac County Cattle Company, Sac City.