Califonia Bountiful


Jan./Feb. 2014 California Bountiful magazine

Annual photo contest captures spirit of the countryside

From a golden rice harvest at dusk to a rooster that thinks it rules the ranch, the winning entries in the annual California Farm Bureau Photo Contest offer windows into the state's rural life.

Participants competed in five categories: Fresh and Local, Kids and Critters on the Farm, All in a Day's Work on the Farm and Rural Scenic, as well as Budding Artists, a category for children 13 and younger.

Each photograph captured rare moments on the farm or ranch. Do you have a scene you'd like to share? The 2014 contest begins in June.

Grand Prize

Tracy Schohr
Butte County Farm Bureau member

A sixth-generation rice farmer, Tracy Schohr wanted to share the beauty of a busy rice harvest on the family farm. "Not only does the shot capture a warm sunset with man and big machines working in harmony," Schohr said, "it also captures something special: a family hard at work, overcoming the challenges of farming." She said she often needs the camera shop to tighten her camera's loose parts following bumpy rides in four-wheelers and pickup trucks.

Fresh and Local - First Place

Lori Baylor
Yolo County Farm Bureau member

Fledgling photographer Lori Baylor was attracted to the many colors and shapes in this grouping of Capay Valley produce displayed on the back of a wagon. "It was a food- and wine-tasting event. I probably have four or five different angles of it," she said. "Everybody was homing in on it just because of the colors and the way it was displayed. It was gorgeous."

Fresh and Local - Second Place

Harry Matthiasson
Napa County Farm Bureau member

After a visit from a photographer friend, 16-year-old Harry Matthiasson was inspired to do some shooting of his own. "This photo was taken this past summer in my garden during golden hour, just before the sun sets," Matthiasson said. A runner on his high school cross-country team and a dedicated student, the busy Matthiasson makes time for photography, his No. 1 hobby. "I try to get with my friends every weekend to take photos."

Kids and Critters on the Farm - First Place

Harry Matthiasson
Napa County Farm Bureau member

Teenage photographer Harry Matthiasson strives to take advantage of the best lighting of the day—at sunrise and sunset—and often walks through his hometown of Healdsburg with camera in hand, searching for animals and scenery. Recently, he captured this young child's chance meeting with an equally curious swine. "I love portrait photography and to reveal the subject's personality through the lens," he said. "The sun had just set, which brought a perfect, soft light."

Kids and Critters on the Farm - Second Place

Marianne Couto
Glenn County Farm Bureau member

Marianne Couto enjoys photographing her sons playing outside at the family farm. The boys, 2-year-old Lane, photographed here, and Carter, 3, love running around outside. "There was something cool about the wheat field, especially when it is taller than the boys are. It gives them a chance to go out and explore," Couto said. "My kids are third-generation here and they just can't get enough of anything to do with farming."

All in a Day's Work on the Farm - First Place

Crystal Amen
Shasta County Farm Bureau member

Looking to take photos to highlight the ranching town of Cottonwood for the walls of a friend's coffee shop there, Crystal Amen stopped by the Shasta Livestock Auction Yard. "I caught the cattle as they were coming down the back pens, and I caught it just right," she said. She and her husband, Chad, manage a small cow-calf operation and she works at a strawberry nursery.

All in a Day's Work on the Farm - Second Place

Angelina Cinquini
Butte County Farm Bureau member

The busy hands sorting sticks and rocks from this load of almonds belong to Angelina Cinquini's grandmother Marie, who is 91. Cinquini snapped the image at the family farm near Chico and said her grandmother has been doing this since she was 13 years old. "Her sorting is by choice. She says it keeps her going," said Cinquini, who admires her grandmother's zest for life.

Rural Scenic - First Place

Janet Johnson
Placer County Farm Bureau member

A relaxing drive across the desert brought inspiration to cattle rancher Janet Johnson, who met a band of wild horses on her way to Cedarville. The horses appeared almost playful, she said, as they galloped on wildlife refuge ground. "I took several photos hoping to get something because they were moving. I stopped to pull over and got in the back of the bed of the truck with my zoom lens."

Rural Scenic - Second Place

Arleah Fields
Santa Clara County Farm Bureau member

Tagging along with her daughter, who was shooting photos as part of a homework assignment, Arleah Fields couldn't help but score an A+ with this field of golden California poppies at the family ranch. The cattle rancher, horse trainer, wife and mother said, "The photo is taken on the edge of suburbia, and you would never know it. Right over the edge of that hill, probably half of a mile, is San Jose."

Budding Artists - First Place

Kristin Roberti (10 years old)
Plumas-Sierra County Farm Bureau member

A self-proclaimed cowgirl who lives on her family's cattle ranch, Kristin Roberti said it was "a plain day" when she snapped this photograph of Harold, her pet rooster. "He was about to fly off of the fencepost—that's why he is leaning forward in the picture." The proud 4-H member had intended that day to take pictures for the county fair, but realized her snapshot of ranch life would be ideal for the annual Farm Bureau contest.

Budding Artists - Second Place

Mary Grace Nascimento (12 years old)
Stanislaus County Farm Bureau member

An artistic girl who said she finds inspiration anywhere—from nature and animals to people and farm life—Mary Grace Nascimento ventured into the family's orchard for this winning photo. Taken in August, it captures an almond tree at hull split, signaling that the tree is about ready to be harvested. "I thought that the almonds looked really cool," said Nascimento, who likes to dance, draw and write—anything that allows her to be creative.

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