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Taking a break from gloom and doom

Erica Louder for Progressive Forage Published on 11 May 2020
Sheep in a barn

I am one of the administrators for my county Farm Bureau’s Facebook page. Last month, together with our women’s leadership chair, we hosted a picture contest via Facebook, and I couldn’t believe the success we had.

Like many organizations, our county Farm Bureau federation has taken a hit due to restrictions related to COVID-19. We canceled our county banquet, we canceled a week of agriculture in the classroom events, and our board has not met for going on three months. We can’t predicate the summer, but I imagine we will need to postpone our community picnic and ag day. In the big picture of this pandemic, these cancellations barely register on the scale of importance, but they are important to us. I appreciate fewer meetings, but it is hard to see the planning go to waste. These events are something people look forward to, and our board looks forward to hosting. 

Our women’s leadership chair, Lola, was feeling blue with the cancellation of events and the temporary restrictions. She called me up and suggested a Facebook photo contest to brighten up everyone’s social media feed. She found she was spending more time on Facebook than usual and was tired of the same news reports on morbidity tolls and conspiracy theories. She felt like an agriculture-themed photo contest would be a welcome change. She asked if I was willing to help. You bet I was. 

We asked our followers to share their favorite agricultural photos on our Facebook page. Our followers shared pictures of cattle, newborn lambs, pivots and tractors. They displayed landscape photos and sunset photos with an agricultural twist. There were photos with horses and cowboys roping on horses, but my personal favorite were the photos of farm families working together. There was both variety and quality in these farm photos. 

Once we compiled the entries, we asked everyone to vote by “liking” their favorites. The photographers were encouraged to share our contest and ask for votes. We selected the top 10 photos based on the number of “likes.” Our state women’s leadership committee then voted on the grand champion from those top 10. The winner was a gorgeous photo of a flock of ewes waiting at an old barn door. It’s the photo included in this blog. It was taken by lamb producer Carol Finney of Buhl, Idaho. 

Our photo contest was widely successful on the scale our small county Farm Bureau operates on, and it brought a lot of traction to our Facebook page. It was fun to participate in and to host. I hope it brought a bit of brightness to the gloom the world is facing. If you need a little pick me up, I suggest going to the Jerome County Farm Bureau Facebook page and checking out our entries.  end mark

Erica Louder is a freelance writer based in Idaho. Email Erica Louder.

PHOTO: The winner of the Jerome County Farm Bureau agriculture photo contest is pictured above. Photo by Carol Finney.

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