Califonia Bountiful

Looking through the lens

Jan./Feb. 2015 California Bountiful magazine

Annual photo contest gives glimpse into farm life

From a hay field at sunset, to a harvest's yield, to a moment between child and animal, each picture tells a story.

At the California Farm Bureau we are fortunate to experience such stories and many moments of "spectacular" in images from farms, ranches and country living, particularly through our annual photo contest.

Participants in the 2014 contest competed in five categories: Rural Scenic, Fresh and Local, Kids and Critters on the Farm, All in a Day's Work on the Farm, and, for children, Budding Artists. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to the winning photographers

Grand Prize

Amy Blagg
San Joaquin Farm Bureau member
Mother of 2-year-old Henry and 5-year-old Nathan, Amy Blagg said her husband, Tyler, often takes the boys to check on their heifers. "I tagged along this time," she said, adding that her sons "like to throw on their cowboy hats and act like little farmers whenever they get the chance." Although infatuated with cows, little Henry becomes a bit fearful around them, so big brother Nathan "just grabbed his hand and it was one of those moments," Blagg said.

Fresh and Local, First Place

Rosemarie Barnett
San Diego County Farm Bureau member

Always looking for "the shot," Rosemarie Barnett captured this photo of 8-year-old Caleb Butler, grandson of the owners of JD Vineyards in Escondido. "When I started working in this industry, all I knew was I liked wine," said Barnett, tasting room manager at Belle Marie Winery, also in Escondido. "Then I witnessed this whole season of growing the grapes and was taken aback as to the labor, the time and care that it requires. It gave me great perspective."

Fresh and Local, Second Place

Harold "Rick" Krach
Placer County Farm Bureau member
Retired teacher Rick Krach enjoys photographing the animals and gardens on his 15-acre farm. For this shot, Krach said, "I just happened to see the extremely nice light on the bird." He held his camera close to the ground and started clicking. "The picture was taken after one of those rare rains last winter," he said. "That's also why the sky has the picturesque cumulous clouds"—and why the hen's legs are caked in mud.

Kids and Critters on the Farm, First Place

Kara Fanning
Monterey County Farm Bureau member
Autry, age 2, "absolutely adores being around the horses," said her mother and photographer Kara Fanning, a large-animal veterinary technician who owns three horses in Gonzales, near Salinas. "Every morning and every evening we go out and feed, so I started capturing all the moments of her interacting with the horses." This horse, Hit Man, is a "gentle giant" with Autry, who likes to wear her tutu with rain boots, no matter the weather.

Kids and Critters on the Farm, Second Place

Terri Arington
Tuolumne County Farm Bureau member
Rowin Reisz, age 3 in this picture at Gaiser Ranch, near Chinese Camp, is "just as cute as a bug in her little cowgirl outfit," said photographer Terri Arington. The youngster "was making friends with this little calf and the calf was willing to lie there and make friends with Rowin," Arington said. There are always children around the ranch, she added, so the cattle are "on the gentler side," which helped her capture this shot.

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

Jane Roberti
Plumas-Sierra County Farm Bureau member
Jane Roberti and daughter Kristen were mesmerized by a swarm of bees that took up residence on a fencepost outside their family's cattle ranch in Loyalton. After contacting a local beekeeper to remove the bees, Roberti grabbed her camera to record the eviction. "It was an incredible sight. We loved watching our friend Jose Vasquez relocate the bees and were impressed with the entire process," Roberti said.

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

Joe Valente
San Joaquin County Farm Bureau member
Each year, Joe Valente submits photos that "showcase the many different commodities" in his county. Here, we see winter squash harvest at the farm of Richard Rodriguez. "I travel throughout the area, and these pictures and this contest are good to show California commodities and the families and agriculture in the state; that's important," he said, adding that his family has followed suit. "We've got three generations of photographers in the contest now."

Rural Scenic, First Place

Andrea Traphagan
Lassen County Farm Bureau member

Photographer Andrea Traphagan said her husband, Thomas, had just baled his final field of alfalfa at the family's 458-acre Sunset Ranch near Ravendale. "The day was so beautiful," she said, adding that the picture represents Thomas' hard work and accomplishments. "I enjoy capturing what happens on farms and how our way of life is so important. There's so much beauty there and so much that we contribute to this world."

Rural Scenic, Second Place

Stacey Ferreira
Glenn County Farm Bureau member
In working at a nut farm and bee business, Stacey Ferreira ventures into the surrounding orchards as often as possible. "I had been following this one bee," she said. "I caught him in the lens and shot tons of pictures." This photo caught Ferreira's attention because the bee seems to be "looking right at me." Despite an allergy to bee stings, she has photographed outdoor scenes and action shots for about 15 years.

Budding Artists, First Place

Nathan Blagg (5 years old)
San Joaquin County Farm Bureau member

Of this photo of "Papa Mike" Blagg, Nathan Blagg said, "I took his picture because he is my grandpa. He lives on a ranch and has lots of cows. He gives you Popsicles if you do a good job helping him." Nathan said he likes the picture "because my Papa looks handsome and because I like the cow chute pen in the background." Nathan said he enjoys using his mom's camera because he likes to push the buttons.

Budding Artists, Second Place

Holyn Sylvester (8 years old)
San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau member
Driving back and forth to school and other activities, Holyn Sylvester and her mother, Wendy, are always on the lookout for photo opportunities. "One morning as I went to work with the goats on our ranch, I handed Holyn the camera to document our recently baled hay crop," Wendy Sylvester said. "It only took her about 10 minutes to take this (winning) photo." Proud mom Wendy said Holyn has been a shutterbug since age 6

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