Agricultural photography contest for Illinois youth

(Illinois News Network) — Young people throughout Illinois will have an opportunity to demonstrate their photography skills in a competition showcasing agriculture in the state.

Submissions are now being accepted for the Illinois State Treasury’s Cream of the Crop Photo Contest.

“Illinois takes pride in its farming and agricultural diversity, and this contest provides students opportunities to showcase the strength and beauty of our state’s agricultural landscape,” Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said.

There are three age-based categories, ages 8-10, 11-14 and 15-18. Each photographer can submit up to two photographs. Frerichs said the contest could help eliminate some stereotypes about farming.

“It is meant for young people – hoping to get them out to look at Illinois agriculture with a new eye and realize it is so much more than perhaps some of the stereotypes they have,” Frerichs said.

Frerichs said agriculture is the top industry in Illinois. The Cream of the Crop contest is part of the department’s Ag Invest program, which helps farmers get needed investments. The winning photos will be featured in Ag Invest marketing content and at the 2018 Illinois State Fair.

“We will use it in our marketing materials, hoping to help current farmers get access to capital they need today and hoping to inspire that next generation of agricultural leaders,” Frerichs said.

Not all of Illinois is agricultural andFrerichs said the competition is for more than just rural participants. He said he hopes young photographers from cities will explore farms as well to potentially open up a new career path.

“This is not just a contest for farm kids,” he said. “We want city kids to go out and explore, to see what agriculture means today; and we think in doing that, some of them will have their eyes opened.”

The deadline for submissions is June 26. information can be found at www.CreamoftheCropContest.com.