Beauty of Agriculture shines through in 2021 in Agweek's annual photo contest

Agweek's audience submitted photos of a variety of examples of the Beauty of Agriculture in 2021.

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Crop Scout: Dakota checking edible beans for pests. This was the first place photo in Agweek's Beauty of Agriculture 2021 contest. Courtesy / John Bartsch

Never underestimate the power of a cute dog.

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.


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Harvest Sunset: Late September sunset provides the perfect backdrop during soybean harvest! This photo took second place in Agweek's Beauty of Agriculture 2021 contest. Courtesy / Laurie Kappes

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."

Wonders: Among God’s wonders, the evening sky and the farmer. Courtesy / Amanda Layman

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:

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Ryegrass harvest: Harvesting perennial ryegrass at dusk. Courtesy / Teresa Dahlgren

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The Green Flyby: A crop duster passes over the green harvest equipment lined up and waiting for the continuation of the soybean harvest. Courtesy / Michael Rexin

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Spring Lambing: There is nothing as sweet as holding a new lamb during Easter time. Courtesy / Manda Hegseth Tumberg


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Perfect Landing: Hot Air Balloon over freshly cut wheat field. Courtesy / Cindy Nagle

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Sunrise and Sugar: A new day. Courtesy / Scott Knutson

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White Cotton & Blue Skies: Cotton harvest is the most wonderful time of the year. Courtesy / Josh Putman

Curly: Newborn calf Curly, resting on a cold January morning. Courtesy / Teresa Dahlgren


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Chasing Sunsets: Beating the rain. Courtesy / Ann Charling

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Oliver in September sundown: Oliver in a September sundown going back to home farm. Courtesy / Caden Papenfuss

Madame: Madame of the evening pasture. Courtesy / Mary Hatfield

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International Harvest Sunset: Facing the field. Courtesy / Tucker McMahon


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Coming Home: Coming home. Courtesy / Jean Vatnsdal

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Sunset over full bins: Another Harvest In The Bin. Courtesy / Marge Fugleberg

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Days end: Cleaning off before heading to the next field. Courtesy / Deb Stumvoll

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Home-grown Giant Passionfruit | Giant Granadilla | Barbadine: Shriya, a proud home-gardener or what we affectionately call a “yardener” with her home-grown fruits. She supports of family’s advocacy and promotion of household food security in Trinidad and Tobago. Courtesy / Omardath Maharaj


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Calving season: Little calf made a new friend. Courtesy / Rebekah Zimmerman

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Horse whisperer: Just a girl and her horse. Courtesy / Rebekah Zimmerman

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A Farmer's Blessing: Good weather and a full bin. Courtesy / Amanda Layman

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October Bales: Beautiful October fields of fresh bales. Courtesy / Linda Kochmann

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Feeding that corn: Y-dropping nitrogen on a beautiful evening in southeastern North Dakota. Courtesy / Dave Rasmussen

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Raising more than crops: Keeping family in the family farm. Courtesy / Jess Rasmussen

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Harvest Day's End: An inspiring end to a long harvest day. Courtesy / Mark Haugen

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Frost on the Farm: My grandparents barn near Fullerton, North Dakota. Courtesy / Cindy Nagle

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Monarch on Sunnies: Such beauty in North Dakota! Courtesy / Cindy Nagle

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Truffles the Pig: Winter is coming. Courtesy / Kristofer Lein

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Beet Harvest: Working around the clock. Courtesy / Kevin Miller.

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Frosty Ringer: Jack Frost visits North Dakota. Courtesy / Marla Belohlavek

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Double Rainbow at Sunset: We welcome the rain for the moisture it provides and the beauty of its aftermath. Courtesy / Evelyn Glenn

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In all his Glory: Angel's artwork. Courtesy / Leslie Reiland

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Sunrise Near Pembina Gorge: Behind a lone tree, a harvested field near Pembina Gorge, North Dakota, is lit by the sunrise. Courtesy / Katie Meiners

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Beautiful sky: After a day in the field this lead me home and filled me with appreciation for all of God's beauty. Courtesy / Lannie Mielke

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Here Comes the Sun: This sunflower is just about full grown and ready to show her entire face to the sun. Courtesy / Evelyn Glenn

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Soybean Harvest 2021: It's 'bean' a good life, time to combine! Courtesy / Rollie Blixt

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 or 701-595-0425.
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