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When you picture a farm, do you imagine sandhill cranes and butterflies? How about a sunset through sycamore trees or cattle grazing on lush grass? Or maybe historic barns and families working the land?

farm-landPhoto by Brian Lowry

This Fall, two local groups are inviting amateur photographers to submit photos of Indiana farms, from crop fields to livestock to wildlife and beyond.
“The photography contest lets people consider the beauty of working farms, and how farmland contributes to the character of our communities,” says Pat Larr, a local farmer who serves on the George Rogers Clark Land Trust board. Their group works to preserve farmland in southern Indiana, for future generations. Their partner on the contest, Oak Heritage Conservancy, protects forests, wetlands, and other natural areas in southeast Indiana.

The call to consider the importance of farmland and natural areas is timely. “Once the new bridge from Louisville is open, there’s going to be increased pressure for farmland owners to develop their land. We know development is going to happen, and that’s okay. But we want to protect our farmland, too.” “Before we develop too much,” says Larr, “we want people to ask themselves: ‘How do farms contribute to the character of our community?’”

The photo contest, she says, is a fun, relaxed way to spark that conversation. Photographers can enter a photo under one of four categories: “Wildlife & Wildflowers,” “Wetlands, Creeks, Prairie, & Forests,” “Cropland, Pasture, & Livestock,” or “Farmstead, Barns, & People.” Ten to fifteen winning photos will be selected and displayed as part of a traveling photo exhibit this winter. After the exhibits, the winners will receive a mounted, high quality print of their photo.

This photography contest and exhibition are generously supported by the Indiana Arts Commission. George Rogers Clark Land Trust (GRCLT) and Oak Heritage Conservancy (OHC) are nonprofit organizations that protect natural areas and farmland in southern Indiana. To date, GRCLT has conserved over 400 acres of working farmland and OHC has conserved over 700 acres of farmland, forests, wetlands, and meadows. To learn more, visit www.oakheritageconservancy.org.

Photos can be submitted September 1 through October 31. Send an email with the subject “Photo Contest” to oakheritageconservancy@gmail.com. Include your name, address, phone number, and category – and attach your photo.