In a top notch display of photography skill, Missourians shared more than 700 of their best shots in the Missouri Department of Agriculture's 4th Annual Focus on Missouri Agriculture Photo Contest.
Each of the 712 photos submitted depicts some aspect of agricultural life across the state, from a child's first experience in the milking parlor with dad to the sun rising over a field of freshly cut hay. The winners will be showcased in the Agriculture Building at the Missouri State Fair, after being announced during the Fair's opening ceremony Aug. 8 in Sedalia.
"The quality of the photos Missourians shared in this year's photo contest was simply outstanding," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "The hard work and commitment of Missouri farm families to their families, communities and rural lifestyle comes through in every photo."
The contest, which concluded July 1, asked photographers from all over the state to submit their best shots of a beautiful Missouri farm, from a snapshot of a farm tractor that has been in the family for years to the fun and excitement of a child experiencing agritourism. Participants were allowed to enter up to three images in each of the five photo categories. Categories were: The Beauty of the Farm, Faces of the Farm, The Farming Life, The Pride of the Farm and Children's Barnyard. The Children's Barnyard category was open only to photographers age 12 and under.
Entries were judged on visual impact, creativity, memorable content and image quality earlier this month by a panel of agriculture communications professionals and photographers. The winning photographs and photographers will be announced at the Missouri State Fair. An AgriMissouri gift basket valued at $100 will be awarded to the First Place winner in each of the four categories. The winner of the Children's Barnyard category will receive a special gift basket filled with $100-worth of child-friendly items from AgriMissouri. An AgriMissouri gift basket valued at $250 will be awarded to the Best of Show. In addition to the top six, reserve and honorable mention photos in each category will also be displayed at the State Fair.
From the contest's beginning in 2010, Missourians of all ages have shown growing interest. While nearly 500 photos were submitted the first year, the incredible quality and quantity of photos continues to increase with record breaking numbers entered each year since. The photos also prove to be just as expressive and diverse as agriculture is throughout Missouri.