The statewide program, sponsored by the Iowa Governor's Office, Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and its title sponsor the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), honored 442 high school seniors from throughout Iowa.
"Iowa Farm Bureau members believe that by investing in our youth and communities, we're investing in the future of Iowa," said IFBF Craig Hill. "We are so proud to honor such exceptional students and proud to be a leading contributor to educational programs and annual scholarships for our youth."
Each high school was invited to select the senior student or students, depending on the size of the school, possessing the highest academic ranking based on grade point average for their first seven semesters. Students selected for the award also had the opportunity to recognize their favorite/most influential teacher and will receive a photo plaque of their meeting with Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds.
"The values learned through academic success, like those learned from participation in education-based activities, help develop outstanding leaders for today and the future," said IHSAA Executive Director Rick Wulkow. "the partnership between the IHSAA and the Iowa Farm Bureau, along with the great cooperation of the Governor's office has made this prestigious event possible."
Ninety-nine percent of those recognized also participate in school activities with 80 percent participating in at least one interscholastic sport. More than 60 percent of the group plan to continue their education in Iowa.