AMES, Iowa -- Iowa's cattle producers are asking you to help find Iowa's Best Burger for 2018. 

For the ninth year in a row, the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association (ICA) are seeking nominees fro favorite burger, whether it's gourmet or down-home style.

Nominations will be accepted between now and 5 p.m. March 12. In order to qualify, the burger must be a 100 percent beef patty that is served on a bun or bread product.

"We are excited to begin the search for this year's best burger in Iowa," Katie Olthoff, ICA communications director, said. "This year, our goal is to get new restaurants involved in the contest. We know we have many restaurants across the state serving a great beef burger."

Iowans can nominate their favorite burgers either online or by text. 

Details about the contest, rules and the voting forms are available at 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 burger may also be shared socially by using #IABestBurger.

IBIC communications director Brooke German said that the top 10 restaurants with the most votes are eligible for the title of Iowa's Best burger. The top ten finalists will be announced on March 19. Finalists will receive a certificate and be eligible for the secret taste test of contest judges. 

The 2018 Best Burger in Iowa will be announced on May 1, with the kick-off of May Beef Month in Iowa.

"Funded by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff program this contest not only promotes Iowa's restaurants serving great beef burgers, but also Iowa's beef farmers producing safe, wholesome and nutritious products for consumers," Steve Rehder, chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council, said. "It is a great partnership between the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council to promote Iowa's beef industry, which generates an estimated $6.03 billion in economic activity in the state."

In 2017, nearly 9,200 nominations for 500 restaurants were received in the contest. 2017's first place finisher was a burger from The Smokin' Hereford in Storm Lake, Iowa. 

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Food and Lifestyles reporter

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