A breathtaking landscape of cattle grazing under a moody autumn sky earned the top prize in the 2010 California Farm Bureau photo contest.

“It was almost like something out of the movies,” Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau member Henry Schulte said in describing the day he took the photo. “It’s a beautiful valley no matter what time of year. The clouds were there, the cows were there and everything just came together. It was one of those magic moments of photography.”

Grand prize winner, by Henry Schulte

Schulte, a Goleta avocado grower, took the winning photo on his way home from Yosemite National Park.

The 29th annual California Farm Bureau photo contest challenged Farm Bureau members throughout the state to capture images of California family farmers and ranchers, the lands they tend and the bounty they provide. Entries were divided into five categories.

Schulte’s Grand Prize photo, which was entered in the “Natural Beauty” category, earned him a $500 award. Other winning photos brought in prizes ranging from $100 to $250.

Janet Turner, a member of the Placer County Farm Bureau, won first prize in the “All in a Day’s Work on the Farm” category for an action shot taken during spring cattle-branding activities in the high desert of Modoc County. Second place was awarded to Live Oak rice farmer Kelli Evans for a portrait of her brother perched on a bright-red rice harvester.

In the “Kids and Critters” category, a lighthearted moment shared by a boy, a puppy and a piglet brought a first-place award for Sharise Alvitre of Visalia. Thirteen-year-old Lane Johnson, a member of the Placer County Farm Bureau, earned second-place honors for a photo of his younger sister cuddling a goat.

Rustic ranch buildings reflected in the still waters of the Fall River provided the subject for Susan Hanson’s winning photograph in the “Natural Beauty” category. She lives in Fall River Mills. A snowscape taken by Doris Goss of Vinton at her family’s 100-year-old ranch earned second place.

First prize in the “From Farm to Fork” category went to a shot of a late-summer eggplant harvest taken by farmer Joe Valente of Lodi. Cassidy Campbell Mueller, a 15-year-old from Guinda, garnered second place with a still life of Santa Rosa plums soaking in a bowl of water.

The youngest winner in the contest, 10-year-old Emily Shepard of Folsom, earned top honors in the “Budding Artists” category for a photo of her cousin’s impish exchange with a pack mule. The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom sponsored the category, open to children 13 and younger. Natalie Del Real, an 11-year-old from Le Grand, won the second-place award for a photo of a neighbor’s barn bathed in the soft glow of sunset.

All 11 prize-winning photos will be published in the California Farm Bureau weekly newspaper, Ag Alert®, as well as its bimonthly magazine, California Country®. The winning images will also be posted on the Farm Bureau websites, www.cfbf.com and www.californiacountry.org.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 76,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 6.3 million Farm Bureau members.


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