John Bartsch farms in eastern Traill County, near Buxton, North Dakota, and he submitted his photo of dog Dakota standing between rows of edible beans on July 12, 2021, in Agweek's Beauty of Agriculture 2021 contest.
"Dakota is city dog but spends many weeks during the summer with us at the farm," Bartsch explained. "He can scout crops early in the year or else we’d lose him when crops get bigger. We also have to chaperone him so he doesn’t get eaten by a fox or coyote. He catches an occasional mouse, squirrel or baby rabbit."
Bartsch's photo, entitled "Crop Scout," garnered the most votes in the contest.
There were plenty of other photos of animals entered in the contest, along with cute kids, farm equipment rolling in the fields, crops, landscapes and rural moments captured for all time.
A popular theme this year seemed to be photos capturing the glories of the sky above farms.
In second place was Laurie Kappes' photo, entitled "Harvest Sunset." Kappes took the photo of a combine silhouetted before an orange and yellow sunset in late September.
"Our farm is located in Norman County, Minnesota, near Borup," she said. "We are actually retired from farming, but captured this photo of our renters. They said the harvest was average which was good considering the dry summer."
Our third place photo, entitled "Wonders," also captured the splendor of the night sky. Amanda Layman submitted the photo, with the caption, "Among God’s wonders, the evening sky and the farmer." She took the photo on Oct. 19, in Southern Brown County, Ohio, where she and her husband Nick live with their 4-year-old daughter Josie.
"We raise corn and soybeans. After leaving work that evening I picked up Josie and a sandwich for my husband to eat on the run. Josie wanted to ride a few rounds in the combine before the rain moved in that night. My husband dropped us off in the back of the field so we could drive the tractor and grain cart closer to the front field," she said. "While walking back to head home for that evening we turned to see this incredible sunset. I try keep my camera with me to capture scenes like this one. A moment like this that takes your breath is worth capturing to remind us of God’s Wonders."
We thank everyone who submitted photos and voted in our Beauty of Agriculture 2021 contest!
Enjoy the rest of the photo entries, in no particular order:
Jenny Schlecht is the director of ag content for Agweek and serves as editor of Agweek, Sugarbeet Grower and BeanGrower. She lives on a farm and ranch near Medina, North Dakota, with her husband and two daughters. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-595-0425.