The National Corn Growers Association announced the 16 winners of the 2015 Fields of Corn Photo Contest, a contest that provided aspiring shutterbugs of all types the opportunity to share in - and visually communicate - the great beauty and hard work that make up American agriculture.
"For the second year in a row, we opened up a photo contest to the general public, and we're very pleased with the high quality of the results," said NCGA Graphic Communications Designer Beth Musgrove. "We've already started using some of these images on our websites and in our publications, and they help us tell the farming story in a more powerful and meaningful way."
Winning the grand prize was Krista Kappes of Ada, Minn. Kappes, who also won last year. Her image of a father and young daughter playing in a corn field struck a nerve with voters and judges alike, because of its emphasis on the joys family farming and sharing a love of agriculture with future generations. More than 240 photos were entered and judged online by thousands of viewers.
Kappes took a moment to share her story behind the photo and provide insight into how to capture the amazing story of farming. To listen, click here.
Linnae Carlson, who took first place in the Farming Challenges category, offered an explanation of her winning entry, one of many photos she has collected over her 35 years of joining her passions of farming and photography.
"The photo chosen shows one of the worst rain storms we have ever had in all those years. We received 16 inches of rain in two days. I have never seen it rain that hard in all my years on this planet. Lots of local flooding of young crops. To capture this photo, I climbed up onto the top of our biggest grain bin as the last of the storm had just passed over and was still visible to the east of the farm. It was truly that dark and menacing. I hope we never see that sort of rain again. But, despite all that, we had a very good corn crop that year."
In addition to the grand prize, photographs were judged across five specific categories, and three winners were named for each category.
Photos from this and last year's contests have been featured in NCGA's publications. To see these incredible shots at work telling the story of U.S. corn farmers, check out NCGA's annual report. Also, look for one to appear on the cover of the upcoming 2015 National Corn Yield Contest Guide, to be released at Commodity Classic.