Focus on Missouri Agriculture – Photo Contest

Here it is the end of May and we are in the season of MUD. Mud is everywhere here in north Missouri. Our road is muddy, the fields are muddy, the pig pen is muddy and the spot where my garden should be is muddy. What do you do when things are this muddy? Focus on what you can do, not what you can not change.

This photo not only depicts what today’s cattle drive looks like, but also brings back the days of long ago when cattle drives were happening all across our country. This photo tells a story.

So focus we will! Today I want to focus on photos and how they tell the story of agriculture. All year-long as we tend the fields, care for the livestock and harvest the crops, I have a camera with me to capture it all. Why, you ask? The images I take not only serve as a reminder of what we have done through the year, but also serve as a connection to the land, the animals and each other. The stages of growth are captured. The compassion for life is captured and the beauty of what is all around us is captured. My camera connects others to this life and helps to tell the story of agriculture.

Are you a shutterbug like me? Do you have pictures upon pictures of farm life and work happening on the farm? Have you been to a you-pick berry patch lately and photographed your harvest? Maybe you love to photograph the diverse landscape of rural Missouri and have pictures of a beautiful sunset or a scenic farm stead? Do your photos tell the story of agriculture? If so, enter your photos in the Focus on Missouri Agriculture photo contest. The annual contest put on by the Missouri Department of Agriculture to promote and showcase Missouri’s No. 1 industry.

In its sixth year, this contest has yielded thousands of photographs capturing the diversity that is agriculture in the Show-Me state. The deadline is June 15th, (that gives you 15 days to get your pictures submitted!) and is open to any amateur photographer who is a resident of Missouri. Kids ages 12 and under are also eligible to enter pictures! They have a special category, “Children’s Barnyard“, for the youngest shutterbugs.

“Dad making bales” – This is Wyatt’s entry in the Children’s Barnyard category in 2014. The Children’s Barnyard winner and honorable mentions all receive a canvas print of their photos. 

Having entered the contest for the past four years, I encourage anyone I can to enter a photo or two or even 12, (the maximum number you can enter). To me, entering is a different way to get my pictures to a greater audience. Maybe someone will see my picture and feel connected to it or recall a happy memory. If I place as a category winner or even an honorable mention, than great! If I don’t, that’s okay too. Just entering pictures ensures that others will see them as the Department of Agriculture not only uses the winning photos, but others entered for promotion, social media campaigns and for educational purposes.

Now, you know all about the contest and I provided the link, so what are you waiting for? Don’t let a thing like an astronomical amount of pictures slow you down. (Trust me! I know the feeling!) Don’t think for a moment that yours are not good enough. All types of amateur photographers have entered and you can too! Would it help if I give a few tips? Come back on Wednesday and I will have tips and suggestions on how to pick, edit and name your photos for contests. Then you won’t have any excuse for not getting your pictures submitted!

Until Wednesday, blessings to you and all who have a passion for telling the story of agriculture,

Laurie – Country Link

*Disclaimer time: I was not asked by anyone to do this post. I have enjoyed entering the contest the past four years. I feel blessed to have had photos be category winners and honorable mentions. I want others to participate in this contest as well so that Missouri Agriculture really can be show-cased for all to see.

Farm Picture Friday #32

FPF #32


I have been short on words the past few weeks.  Not for sure why, but my creative voice is not saying anything so I am trying to “speak” through my photography.  Which in reality means that things are slow and I have been shut in the house, so there is not much to give me inspiration besides cold and snow.

I do love snow, but I am not a fan of cold.   A nice snow on the ground and everything covered is a beautiful sight.  Sometimes the sun shines on it just right and the snow almost seems to sparkle.    This week the snow is starting to melt and when that happens we have good old Missouri Mud.  Dark brown, get everywhere, stick to everything kind of Mud.  No sparkling to Mud.

So for today’s Farm Picture Friday I give you Boots in the Snow.  A final look at white snow and Muck Boots that will soon see Missouri Mud.

Blessings to you and your special Valentine,

Laurie – Country Link

The Muddy Adventure

So far this spring we have had snow, rain, cold temperatures and very little sunshine.  Now it is June and we still are getting rain and very little sunshine.  So that of course means that we have mud and lots of it.  What do you do when you have mud?  Well you make the most of it, literally.  Read on to hear all about the Muddy Adventure.

Last week we were very blessed to have a very fine family come and stay with us a few days.  They are some very good friends of ours that we do not get to see very often, so it was wonderful that they got to come.  They even commented on how wet we are here and the water that is still standing everywhere.

On one overcast afternoon I asked the kids if they would like to go on an adventure into the pasture.  They were very excited and got changed into old clothes and mud boots.  (Note:  Mud boots are very important in this story.)

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I asked them to line up for a before picture knowing that when this adventure was over, we would not have any clean/dry kids.  I was right.

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Things started off with just walking in the pasture toward the ditch.  The grass is very tall now.  If we could have a few sunny days in a row, we would try to cut hay, but the forecast has rain every day and a half it seems.

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Once we got to the ditch, well the nice dry kids were soon wet, muddy, soggy kids.  Well, everyone expect for Tessa.  She is not one to jump right in and get dirty.  She will, but it is more the,  “I was just playing and digging in the dirt and for some reason now I am dirty”, kind of girl.

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Once we found the big puddle at the entrance to a field did she get a little more adventurous and want to be in the water.  Again, mud boots very important!

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What started out as the three younger ones walking in the puddle and splashing a little, turned into the bigger two coming along and deciding that was not good enough.  They proceeded to SPLASH!  From here I think it was a contest to see who could get the muddiest.  In the end Ty (from the very fine family) was the winner.

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Here is the after picture.  Note how that again Tessa is not that wet or muddy.  How she does it is still a mystery.  In all I think the kids had a great time and enjoyed getting muddy.  They also enjoyed showers as soon as we got back to the house.  The mud boots while very, very important, only keep your feet dry if you do not splash or walk in water that is deeper than the boots are tall.  Just a little friendly farm tip.

Blessings to you and everyone who enjoys getting muddy from time to time,

Laurie – Country Link

*One more picture of this very fun, dirty, muddy, wet adventure.

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