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McLeansboro, Raleigh kids among 2016 Cream of the Crop Photo Winners

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today announced the winners of the 2016 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest. The annual contest encourages young photographers to share their vision of agriculture in our state.


“The imagination of our children never fails to amaze and is clearly evident in these photos,” Frerichs said. “These beautiful images are strong evidence that our future is bright regardless of the challenges that we face today.”


The winning entries will be featured at the treasurer’s tent during the 164th annual Illinois State Fair in Springfield. The fair’s opening twilight parade is Aug. 11. Fair presentation tents begin Aug. 12 and end with the fair’s afternoon closing on Aug. 21. Treasurer Frerichs’ primary tent will be on the north side of Brian Raney Avenue. The treasurer’s office also will have a presence inside the Illinois Building.


Winning photo entries can be viewed at Winning photos and other submissions will be used in a calendar and Ag Invest marketing materials for the agriculture industry.


Ag Invest is one of the nation’s largest agricultural linked deposit programs. It helps hundreds of Illinois farmers and agriculture professionals. The treasurer’s office, through Ag Invest, partners with eligible financial lenders to offer farmers annual and long-term, low-interest loans which can be used for operating costs, equipment purchases, construction-related expenses, and livestock purchases.


There were three age-based categories in this year’s photo contest: ages 8-10, 11-14, and 15-18. Each student was allowed to submit electronically up to two photos by July 7. Photo judges were Rick Schramm of Illinois National Bank; Mary Morgan of 1st Farm Credit Services; Scott Rhoads of Carrollton Bank; Gary Mueller of Havana National Bank and Ben Jackson of the Illinois Bankers Association. Mike Zigliani of Café Moxo in Springfield donated refreshments during the judging.


The 2016 Cream of the Crop winners:

Winners in the 8-10 age category:

First Place: Camryn Mullen of Minooka.

Photo Title: “Farm Cattle”

Second Place: Kailyn Williams of Raleigh.

Photo Title: “Feed Me”


Third Place: Elly Jones of West Brooklyn.

Photo Title: “What a View”


Winners in the 11-14 age category:

First Place: Thomas Bumann of Woodhull.

Photo Title: “Finches on the Farm”


Second Place: Braxton Ragan of McLeansboro.

Photo Title: “4H Steer”


Third Place: William Bumann of Woodhull.

Photo Title: “Super Corn”


Winners in the 15-18 age category:

First Place: Kayli Miller of Morrison.

Photo Title: “Evening on the Farm”


Second Place: Blake Dooley of Auburn

Photo Title: “A Quick Glimpse”


Third Place: Carson Goff of Hopedale.

Photo Title: “Curious Cattle”


Contest rules and entry information for the 2017 Cream of the Crop photo contest will be available in early 2017. Photos between now and then will be eligible for that contest. Fall and winter photos are encouraged.