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    Top Agricultural Photo Contest Winners Announced

    Northeast Iowa – Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Capture the Heart of America Photo Contest. While the footprint of the Heritage Area covers a 37-county region in Northeast Iowa, the contest allows Silos & Smokestacks to share America’s agricultural story across the entire United States. This year’s contest was comprised of 653 photos, taken in 40 states, by 210 accomplished photographers.

    Rachel Ritland of Stanhope, Iowa, won the top award, Best of Show, for her photo entitled Pig Pile. Awards were also given to the top photos in each of five categories, as well as for the overall People’s Choice “Most Liked.” Winning photos may be viewed online here and include:

    • 1st Place: Paul Grillo, Des Moines, Iowa, American Farmscapes; Jenny Braun, Hampton, Minn., Life on the Farm; Barbara Briggs, Grinnell, Iowa, Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites; Kelly Giusti, Bedford, Mass., Celebrations of Agriculture; and Rachel Ritland, Stanhope, Iowa, America’s Agricultural Industry.
    • 2nd Place: Tyler Porter, Broomfield, Colo, American Farmscapes; Daryn Wiles, Tallahassee, Fla., Life on the Farm; Greg Punelli, Des Moines, Iowa, Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites; Adrienne Martelli, University Place, Wash., Celebrations of Agriculture; and Robert Perrine, Cranbury, N.J., America’s Agricultural Industry.
    • 3rd Place: Libby Zhang, Sugar Land, Texas, American Farmscapes; Donald Frey, Lancaster, Pa., Life on the Farm; Dave Austin, Ankeny, Iowa, Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites; John Ferritto, Ventura, Calif, Celebrations of Agriculture; and Trinda Love, Tacoma, Wash., America’s Agricultural Industry.
    • People’s Choice “Most Liked”: Laurie Helling, Dubuque, Iowa; Joyce Meyer, Calmar, Iowa; and Alicia Hoffman, Remsen, Iowa.
    • Honorable Mentions: Fred Luhman, Lakewood, Colo., American Farmscapes; Barbara Briggs, Grinnell, Iowa, Life on the Farm; Jen Uthoff, Shell Rock, Iowa, Life on the Farm; Mackenzie Serbus, Hampton, Iowa, Celebrations of Agriculture; Candice Francis, Escondido, Calif, America’s Agricultural Industry; Ann Grimes, Ayden, N.C., America’s Agricultural Industry; and Sandy Zelasko, Valley Center, Calif., Life on the Farm.

    “It is amazing to see the variety of images taken each year and the unique story each one tells. With nearly every state represented, it truly demonstrates America’s connection to agriculture,” commented Don Short, SSNHA President.

    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.

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

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