2019 Best in Show winner.

Iowans who may have more time on their hands this summer due to the pandemic likely have an excellent camera on their smartphones and stunning, agriculture-related subjects to shoot nearby.

Entries are now being taken for the Capture the Heart of America photo contest. Jori Wade-Booth, at Waterloo-based Silos and Smokestacks, says there are a half dozen categories, including Iowa Farmscapes.

“Crop photos, barn photos, beautiful landscapes of Iowa,” Wade-Booth says. “We have Celebrations of Iowa Agriculture — those are pictures of fairs, community events, family celebrations. Modern Agriculture — we want to see photos of technology in farming and new ways of farming.”

The annual contest features cash prizes, including $500 for the photo deemed Best in Show. Last year’s Best in Show winner snapped a flower-filled picture at one of the organization’s partner sites, Living History Farms in Urbandale. “We have 115 Silos and Smokestacks partner sites across eastern Iowa that tell the story of American agriculture,” Wade-Booth says. “That’s the category we really get excited about and we have a special award for that one. It’s called the Visitor Guide Feature Award. It’s a $250 cash prize and the photo gets featured in our visitor guide.”

Photos have to be submitted by October 31st but she notes, there’s no expiration date on the pictures you’ve taken. “So, if you took a really great photo three years ago at one of our partner sites or out in the field, you can still submit that photo,” Wade-Booth says. “The contest is for amateur and professional photographers alike. As long as you were the person that took the photo, you can submit it, no matter how old it is.”

All photos submitted for the contest need to be agriculture-related and help to preserve this important piece of America’s story. Learn more about the contest and find an entry form at: www.silosandsmokestacks.org/photo-contest