The National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate in Iowa on Tuesday, USA TODAY reported.

"Joni Ernst has consistently opposed all attempts to restrict gun rights and has been a true friend of the Second Amendment," said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA's Political Victory Fund.  

The pro-gun group also gave Ernst an "A" rating. 

Ernst, an Iowa state senator and lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard, initially made headlines for her first TV advertisement where she touts her experience castrating pigs.

"I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I come to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork," Ernst says in the video. "Washington's full of big spenders, let's make 'em squeal." 

The senate hopeful was also endorsed by Sarah Palin -- shortly after her quirky ad went viral.

"If Nebraska's Deb Fischer can see through the bull in Washington, then Iowa's Joni Ernst can help her cut through the pork. Growing up on a hog farm in Southwest Iowa, Joni has taken her "pork cutting" skills to the Iowa State Senate where she has been a champion for life, small government, and lower taxes - voting for the largest tax cut in Iowa history. In Washington, she has pledged to defund Obamacare, limit the size of government, and protect life. As a concealed weapon license holder, she will fight to defend our Second Amendment rights - the NRA has given her an "A" rating," Palin wrote. 

She is one of five Republicans running for the GOP nomination. The nominee will face off against U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley to fill the seat left by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.