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Vote for Your Favorite Agricultural Photo

Northeast Iowa – Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) is asking for the public’s help in determining the top agricultural photos in the 2014 Capture the Heart of America Photo Contest. This year’s contest brought in 653 photos documenting America’s agricultural story from 210 photographers, representing 37 states and two foreign countries. From December 1-7, voting for “Best of Show” and People’s Choice “Most Liked” will be open to the public here.

“Best of Show” finalists are comprised of the 1st Place photos in each of five categories, as judged by a panel of three professional photographers. This year’s finalists include:

  • Rachel Ritland, Stanhope, Iowa – Pig Pile (America’s Agricultural Industry)
  • Greg Punelli, Des Moines, Iowa – Road to the Farm (American Farmscapes)
  • Kelly Giusti, Bedford, Mass. – Long Day at the Fair (Celebrations of Agriculture)
  • Jenny Braun, Hampton, Minn. – Grandpa’s Helper (Life on the Farm)
  • Barbara Briggs, Grinnell, Iowa – Through the Kitchen Window (Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites)

People’s Choice “Most Liked” is open to all submitted photos and awarded to the top five most “liked” on Facebook.

“The story of American agriculture is a diverse and ever-changing narrative. Through the contest, we are able to preserve and tell the broader present day story of how our food is produced,” commented Don Short, SSNHA President.

This will be the eighth year that Silos & Smokestacks has hosted the Capture the Heart of America Photo Contest. While the footprint of the Heritage Area spans a 37-county region in Northeast Iowa, the contest has given Silos & Smokestacks the opportunity to extend its mission of telling America’s agricultural story beyond the borders of the region. Through participation in the contest, photographers from across the nation can contribute their own piece to this story. Thank you to all of the amazing photographers for sharing their photos and this year’s contest sponsors for helping to make the contest possible, including Solon Andreas Foundation and CyberLink. Also, thank you to this year’s judges for donating their time and expertise. Judges included Andrea Altman, Canon USA representative/independent photographer; Gary Fandel, Iowa Farm Bureau photographer; and Jerry Ranch, independent photographer.

SSNHA is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa. Interstate 80 borders it on the south and Interstate 35 borders it on the west. Through a network of sites, programs and events, SSNHA interprets farm life, agribusiness, and rural communities—past and present.

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