DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Education today announced that two college-bound Iowa students will be awarded the Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, Aug. 12. The scholarship, named for the longtime Iowa governor and former U.S. ambassador to China, recognizes outstanding Iowa high school seniors who have actively participated in the Iowa State Fair.

This year’s awardees are Hailey Burton of Davis City and Katie Leichty of Wayland. Each student will receive $2,500 to attend an Iowa college or university during the 2023-24 academic year.

  • Hailey Burton, a graduate of Lamoni High School and future Iowa State University student, hails from a small family farm. She is the president of Lamoni’s 4-H and FFA programs and has been actively involved with the Iowa State Fair, winning purple, blue, red, and white ribbons for her efforts in photography, painting, lamp and horticulture projects. Additionally, she has volunteered the last two years with Little Hands on the Farm and participated in the Bill Riley Talent Search, which taught her to be confident and fearless in front of crowds. A four-year member of the honor roll, Burton was also her class vice president and student athlete. She participated in volleyball and track at Lamoni High School and was the 2022 AAU tumbling state champion. She volunteered at Meals From the Heartland, Food For America, taught elementary school students about agriculture and crops, organized coat drives, raised money for food pantries and volunteered her time to local nursing homes and veterans’ organizations.
  • Katie Leichty, a graduate of WACO High School in Wayland and future University of Iowa student, was five months old when she first participated in her first Iowa State Fair. As part of a family with a rich tradition of showing dairy cattle, Leichty has added to that legacy by showing her own award-winning cattle for the last 10 years. In that time, her milking shorthorn cattle won nine awards. She participated in the Iowa State Fair Queen competition in 2022 and volunteered at Little Hands on the Farm. At WACO High School, she was a member of the volleyball, basketball, track and dance teams. A member of the National Honor Society and a student council officer, she also participated in band, and choir. As a member of the Crooked Creek 4-H community, she organized food drives and helped prepare meals for those in need. Through the Mennonite Youth Foundation, she has participated in mission trips out of state and events in Wayland to benefit the community. 

The Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship recipients were chosen based on participation in the fair, extracurricular activities, volunteer service to their communities, GPA and a personal essay explaining the Iowa State Fair’s impact on their lives.

The students will be honored on Saturday, August 12, at 6:30 p.m. on the Ann & Bill Riley Stage at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, just before the crowning of the Iowa State Fair Queen.