Photo Contest Rules

Contest Rules/Guidelines

Before proceeding to entry form, please read and check below that you have read and understand the contest rules/guidelines.

Failure to follow ALL rules/guidelines may result in disqualification.

The mission of Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) is to preserve and share America’s agricultural story. Photos submitted in the contest must be agriculturally related and help to preserve this important piece of America’s story. Photos must be taken in the geographic location indicated in the category descriptions below.

Photos submitted in the contest must be agriculturally related and help to preserve this important piece of America’s story. The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers. Photos must be submitted by the individual who took the photograph. Contest sponsors, judges and SSNHA staff/members of their immediate family are not eligible to enter. Employees and volunteers of designated SSNHA Partner Sites are eligible to submit entries.

*While photographing, please practice save social distancing guidelines as recommended by the CDC.

Entries/How to Submit

  • Entries must be submitted via online entry form. Mailed entries will not be accepted. Should an entry be lost in transmittal, entrants are entitled to a refund of their entry fee. No other monetary compensation will be awarded.
  • Participants may submit a total of five photos. Photos may be all within one category or spread throughout multiple categories.
  • A $10.00 entry fee will be assessed for each photo entered to help cover the costs of administering the contest. Payments are processed securely online through Stripe. Methods of payment accepted include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover and Diners Club.
  • All photos must be taken in the geographic location indicated in the category descriptions below
  • Photos should be formatted to a minimum of 2,000 pixels on the shortest side, though larger images are preferred (please do not re-size small files to fit requirements). Files must be JPEG format and smaller than 50 MB.
  • Images may have minor alterations for color, contrast, cropping, etc., but may not be significantly altered, appear unnatural or have elements added or removed.
  • Model releases are not required to enter photos. If a photograph contains a recognizable person, photographers agree that they have requested permission to photograph subjects and are able to provide a model release to SSNHA upon request.
  • Photos will be judged by an independent panel according to category relevance, quality, content, composition and creativity. Judges will determine 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention in each of five categories. The 1st Place photo in each category will compete in online voting for “Best of Show.” Three awards for overall People’s Choice will also be chosen by the public.
  • Entries due by Oct. 31, 2022. Winners will be announced no later than December 31, 2022.

Questions or comments related to the photo contest should be directed to or 319-234-4567.

We would like to connect with you on social media so please give us your Instagram Handle (ex. @silosandsmokestacks) and your Twitter Handle (ex. @ssnha) so that we can better promote and connect with photographers.


Contest Categories

*SSNHA reserves the right to reclassify photos better suited to an alternate category.

Iowa Farmscapes: From rustic farms to rolling hills of patchwork fields, the rural countryside holds a beauty uniquely Iowan. This category captures this beauty through artistic depictions of farm and field scenes scattered throughout rural Iowa.

Life on the Iowa Farm: Farm Life is characterized by hard work combined with a connection to the land. This category shares the story of the Iowan farmer who helps feed the world, along with day-to-day life on the farm.

Silos & Smokestacks Heritage Area Sites: From dairy farms and museums to vineyards and tractor assembly tours, more than 100 Designated Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area Partner Sites are sharing their own part of America’s agricultural story in a 37-county region of Northeast Iowa. This category lets visitors share their experience at Heritage Area Partner Sites.

Celebrations of Iowa Agriculture: Steeped in culture, festivals and fairs have long been held to celebrate Iowan agriculture and the fruits of the harvest. From a state fair to a hometown rhubarb fest, this category commemorates the agricultural experience at countless events throughout the country.

New Catergory! Faces of American Agriculture:  Agriculture is a diverse and eclectic industry. From field to factory, more than 19 million Americans work in agriculture. Whether farmers and producers or scientists and engineers, show us the faces of men and women working in, what many believe to be, the world’s oldest profession. Capture people at work developing new technologies, identifying weeds & pests, solving water and soil issues, processing products we find on store shelves, and educating about agriculture. This category celebrates the people who work to fulfill our human need for food, energy, clothing, and shelter.

Agriculture in America: From sea to shining sea, amber waves of grain to fields of cotton. Agriculture is a major industry in America. Ranging from hobby farms and small-scale producers to large commercial farms covering thousands of acres of cropland or rangeland. This category celebrates the diverse industry of agriculture in our country. We want to see this industry outside of Iowa and farm life differs from state-to-state.

Reproduction Rights

Photographers retain all copyrights associated with their photograph(s).  Entry in the contest constitutes agreement to allow photographs to be published, exhibited and used in all forms and/or media by SSNHA. Typical use may include features in exhibits or program promotional materials. Photos will also be exhibited through SSNHA’s social media channels, with all efforts utilized to protect improper download by outside sources. When possible, photographers will be given credit during usage. Due to the nature of some programs, credit may not be given in all uses. Photos will not be sold by SSNHA to any outside source. Any requests from outside sources will be advised to contact the photographer directly.

Awards Presented

Best of Show: $500

First Place: $100 (each category)

Second Place: $50 (each category)

Third Place: $25 (each category)

People’s Choice: $50 – First Place Only

Visitor Guide Photo Feature Award: $250 and feature in the 2022 Visitor Guide. Eligible only to photos taken at Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites. Winner chosen by Silos & Smokestacks staff.