Califonia Bountiful

Photo contest winners: Showcasing California

Jan./Feb. 2016 California Bountiful magazine

Images highlight food, rural scenes and farm life

There is much to appreciate throughout the Golden State, from the diversity of the landscape and wildlife, to the variety of locally grown foods, to the hardworking people on ranches and farms—and in restaurants, markets and many other businesses that depend on agriculture.

Such abundance and bounty were spotlighted in the 2015 California Farm Bureau Federation Photo Contest. The 34th annual competition included a $1,000 Grand Prize, three top awards and six honorable mentions. The Budding Artists category, presented by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, honored photographers ages 13 and younger.

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all who entered. Look for these and additional contest photos on the California Bountiful website and social media channels.

Joyce Mansfield

Grand Prize: Andrew Austin Lincoln, Napa County

Using a wide-angle lens, Andrew Austin Lincoln captured this scenic view overlooking a chardonnay vineyard his father manages in Napa County. "The grapes and the rolling hills represent this as a region," Lincoln said, "and I had the fortune of being there just as the cloud formation highlighted the windmill."


First Place: Amy Blagg, San Joaquin County

Rancher Amy Blagg snapped this photo of her son, Nathan, closing a gate at his grandparents' cattle ranch in Grass Valley. "He loves to be up there and help out," Blagg said, adding that Nathan likes to do chores and dress like his grandfather in flannel shirt, jeans and boots. She also said that a trip to the ranch is her children's "vacation of choice."


Second Place: Henry Schulte, Santa Barbara County

As part of his yearly pilgrimage to see the fall foliage in the Sierra Nevada, avocado and cherimoya grower Henry Schulte detoured near Bridgeport. "I'd seen that field, and the mountains in the background appealed to me, but I'd never stopped," he said. "This time, I got up really early in the morning and pulled off to the side of the road and captured a bunch of shots."


Third Place: Kellie Neufeld, Kern County

Clementine oranges took center stage the day Kellie Neufeld visited a citrus grove in Mettler managed by her husband. In capturing images of the harvest, Neufeld said she took close-up shots to highlight the fruit. She and her family also grow their own citrus in Exeter. "Farming is near and dear to us," she said.


Honorable Mentions

Susan Cohen Byrne, Yolo County: Being this close during a cattle roundup in Capay Valley was "very intense and exciting," Susan Cohen Byrne said, describing how teams roped, wrangled and vaccinated animals. "The wranglers seemed almost acrobatic or dancelike," she said, adding that this youngest cowboy's grace and roping skills caught her eye.


Yvonne Hunter, Yolo County: Yvonne Hunter chose a long focal length and fast shutter speed to capture both flying and standing egrets in rice fields in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. "I'm just intrigued with the light and the birds and the agriculture in the bypass," said Hunter, who frequently photographs the farming activities and animals there.


Andrew Austin Lincoln, Napa County: For this photo of grapes on the vine in Oakville, Andrew Austin Lincoln said he "wanted to create a very personal experience using the merlot cluster against that great sky." He was inspired by an idea to highlight the grapes in the foreground to create a layered perspective.


Holyn Sylvester, San Luis Obispo County: This young photographer, who also won first place in the Budding Artists category (see below), typically takes pictures of people and animals. "But this flower caught my eye and inspired me," Holyn Sylvester said. She found it growing on her family's San Luis Obispo property on "Flower Hill," where they plant different flowers every year.


Julie Aitken, Sonoma County: Annie, a yellow Labrador retriever, carried a glove left behind by (or stolen from) workers in a vineyard in Healdsburg. "She was very funny; the glove was a great prize!" photographer Julie Aitken said, adding that she visited the area to take photos of Annie, as well as grapevines and goats.


Kellie Neufeld, Kern County: After hosting a 4th of July party, Kellie Neufeld and her husband asked their three young children to pick up flags used as yard decorations so they could mow the lawn. "When I walked out front, they had stuffed the flags in their boots," she said. "I didn't stage that. That's my front porch; the boots are always there."


Budding Artists

First Place: Holyn Sylvester (9 years old), San Luis Obispo County

The chickens and turkeys on the Sylvester family ranch in San Luis Obispo are used to getting treats and scraps—and they know what to do when they see people in the yard. "They come running and surround us," Holyn Sylvester said. "We call them the chicken mafia." Holyn took this photo of her older sister, Aeven, feeding treats one evening to "show people the craziness."


Second Place: Maddalena Hylton (11 years old), San Mateo County

When hiking around her grandparents' ranch in Miramar, with acres of seasonal flowers such as the dahlias shown here, Maddalena Hylton takes a camera and watches for the right moment. "I saw a bee go by and thought about how it would look from that perspective," she said. "I like that it's a bit different taking a picture from the back of a flower instead of the front."

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