Bru finalist for 2024 Iowa Youth Pork Leadership Team

GMG senior currently holds Tama Co. Pork Queen title

GMG senior and Tama County Pork Queen Lilly Bru pictured competing in the Swine Show during last summer’s county fair. Bru is one of eight finalists this year for the 2024 Iowa Youth Pork Leadership Team which was set to be crowned this week Wednesday at the annual Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines. PHOTO BY LAURA BRU/THE PIE LADY

Sun Courier note: Since this story went to press, Lilly Bru was crowned the 2024 Iowa Pork Queen. A story about her crowning will print in a future edition.

GLADBROOK – Rural Gladbrook resident and GMG High School senior Lillian ‘Lilly’ Bru was recently announced as one of eight finalists for the 2024 Iowa Youth Pork Leadership Team.

The team – which consists of one queen and two ambassadors – is set to be crowned this week Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Des Moines by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) at the annual Iowa Pork Congress.

Bru – who lives with her parents Ryan and Laura Bru on a farm south of Gladbrook – is currently the Tama County Pork Queen.

Once crowned, the 2024 team will assist throughout the next year with state pork promotional and educational activities.

Tama County’s 2023/2024 Pork Queen Lilly Bru (second from left) – a rural Gladbrook resident and senior at GMG High School in Garwin – pictured alongside Tama County’s 2023 and 2024 leadership team members including 2023/2024 ambassadors Owen Koester (center) and Jay Bru (second from right), 2023 princess Skyler Murty (right), and 2024 ambassador Lauren Keller (left). Bru was selected as one of eight finalists for the state leadership team this year which was set to be crowned this week Wednesday in Des Moines. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Bru told Tama-Grundy Publishing she was selected as a finalist by “heavily participating in the work of the Tama County Pork Producers and [through] my interest to take matters further by spreading positive and true messages about the pork industry in the state of Iowa.”

In the run-up to this week’s contest, Bru has been preparing by spending time with Tama County past state royalty including 2015 Iowa Pork Queen Christy Flamme, 2014 Iowa Pork Queen Sarah Reinberg, and 2006 Iowa Pork Princess Samantha DeWitt.

“I’m very blessed to be considered [as] one of the eight finalists in this competition,” Bru continued in her comments to the paper. “I couldn’t be here without the support of my family and the Tama County Pork Producers.”

Judging began Tuesday night for the contest and will continue throughout the day Wednesday during which finalists were required to sit through interviews, appear before the media, give extemporaneous speeches, and attend a breakfast with members of the public that included incognito judges.

When contacted on Monday for comment, Bru’s mother Laura admitted she was quite possibly more anxious than her daughter heading into the Wednesday evening crowning.

2023/2024 Tama County Pork Queen Lilly Bru pictured second from right. CONRIBUTED PHOTO

“I feel like I’m more nervous than she is. So proud of her for going for big things!”

In addition to Bru, this year’s Iowa Youth Pork Leadership Team finalists include Ella Cole of Delaware County, Abby Elsamiller of Bremer County, Aubrey Johnson of Hardin County, Miranda Rickels of Clinton County, Hannah Tice of Story County, Ashlee Tomlinson of Warren County, and Riley Troendle of Allamakee County.