Ackley — For many high schoolers, prom is the most glamorous night of their lives. So what better way to pay for it than dressing in a cow suit and yelling like a seasoned carny?

Brenna Bonewitz and Miranda Jimmerson, both 16, did just that on the main drag here, urging RAGBRAI riders to try enter a cow-pie tossing contest. The proceeds from the $1 entry fees will help cover the costs for the 2017 Ackley-Geneva-Wellsburg-Steamboat Rock prom.

The spokescows promised that their cow pies were fresh — from June or early July — but had dried enough for good results. And classmate Brent Janssen, who had been relegated to chip-collecting duty, advised competitors to choose pies that were both small and dense.


He’d never expected to become an expert.

“Well, it’s a new experience,” he said with a shrug. “I guess I can’t say I’ve ever picked up cow poop before, especially for people who are paying for it.”

A chalkboard next to the event field announced the day’s winners as of about 10 a.m.

A Colorado kid named Leo was leading the “Calf” division with a throw of 100 feet; a Massachusetts woman named Tally was the leading “Heifer,” with 95 feet; and Jon Blake of Santa Barbara, Calif., became the prize-winning “Bull” after a toss of 127 feet.

His teammates said his ego was growing by the minute.

“I mean, how often do I get to say I threw the farthest cow pie?” he told the assembled paparazzi.

Second-place finisher Tommy Rush of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., flung a pie just two feet short of the record but held his head high nonetheless.

“I’m a little disappointed,” he said, “but I’m proud to be second.”