Here are the threads that dmp referenced...
For us, we don't compete for the money or the trophies, but, it's nice to at least have a shot at breaking even. Looking at the distance from the Chicago 'burbs to Benton, and given the current price of gas, meat, etc., it would cost me about $600 for this competition. The only way that i can break even would be to be GC or RGC. That lowers my chances since the meat categories don't have any decent money attached to them.
As far as trophies vs. ribbons vs. cash, we would rather have a nice trophy over a ribbon, but prefer cash to either
Right now there aren't any other competitions in that area on that weekend. The closest is the west side of Iowa. So you'll probably still be able to get teams, but if it comes down to choosing between competitions I think a lot of teams will consider the potential payout as important as shown by JD's polls.