The date for the second International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off is set for Sept. 14 in Charleston, which means the Agri-heritage Photo Contest is about to wrap up.
“The contest officially began on March 1 and will end on Aug. 9,” Nancy Neal, contest coordinator, reported. “The idea is to continue creating a greater awareness and appreciation of our agri-heritage in the Ocoee Region through pictures.”
Neal noted that last year’s first-place winners are part of the décor at the recently opened Hiwassee River Heritage Center.
“We had some exceptional photos entered in our first contest,” Neal explained. “We hope a greater number of amateur photographers are taking pictures this season to reflect our agri-heritage.”
She reminded, “We’re continuing to look 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 our agri-heritage.”
Photos taken during 2012 also will be accepted if they were not submitted for the first contest and since capturing our agri-heritage can be an ongoing project, 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, ages 13 and younger, are encouraged to enter the Budding Artists division. International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off organizers are not eligible to participate.
This year’s categories for the “Agri-heritage in the Ocoee Region” contest include Kids and Critters on the Farm, Grown in the Ocoee Region (plants and production), Rural Beauty, Disappearing Landscape (barns, rural buildings, etc.), 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, adding that “no cellphone photos will be accepted.”
Homestead Lawn & Tractor Co. has also agreed to sponsor the contest again this year.
Photography/communications experts will judge the photos beginning Aug. 14, with winners displayed and announced at the International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off on Sept. 14. Top photos in each category will be part of a temporary display housed in the new Hiwassee River Heritage Center in Charleston. CPQ Professional Imaging Inc. will print the award-winning photos.
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.