Complementing the first-ever International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off set for Sept. 15 in Charleston is the area’s first Agri-heritage Photo Contest. Homestead Lawn & Tractor Co. and CPQ Professional Imaging Inc. are sponsors for the contest.
“The idea is to create a greater awareness and appreciation of our agri-heritage in the Ocoee Region,” said Nancy Neal, vice president for communications, Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, and coordinator of the contest.
“We’re looking for photos from all corners of the Ocoee Region that depict farm work, crops grown in the region, rural scenic beauty, things disappearing from the rural landscape like old barns and farm buildings, farm machinery, and anything else related to agri-tourism,” she explained.
The contest officially began with the formal announcement of the Cowpea Festival on June 8 and will end on Aug. 10.
“Photos taken during 2011 will also be accepted since the contest announcement only offers the summer season for capturing our agri-heritage,” Neal added.
Competition is open to any amateur photographer — one who does not regularly receive income from photography — who lives in the Ocoee Region of Tennessee; that is, Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Polk and Hamilton counties. Young photographers are encouraged to enter the Budding Artists division for those 13 and younger. International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off organizers are not eligible to participate.
Categories for the “Agri-heritage in the Ocoee Region” contest include Kids and Critters on the Farm, Grown in the Ocoee Region, Down on the Farm (farm work), Rural Beauty, Disappearing Landscape (barns, rural buildings, etc.), Production (machinery, technical aspects of farming), Agri-tourism (Corn Maze, Apple Festival, Country Fair, Apple Valley Orchard, Morris Vineyard and Winery, Farmers Market, etc.) and Budding Artists (photographers age 13 and under).
“Entrants may only submit their own original photographs in digital format online, with no more than three photos per entrant,” Neal noted.
A panel of photography/communications experts will judge the photos beginning Aug. 20, with winners announced at the International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off on Sept. 15.
The top two photos in each category will be part of a temporary display printed by CPQ Professional Imaging housed in the new Hiwassee River Heritage Center in Charleston. The winners also will receive recognition on www.cowpeafestival.com, as well as in local media outlets and on community websites.
For details about the contest, including how to submit photographs, visit www.cowpeafestival.com.