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Winners of the 2013 Hay Bale Decorating Contest

FG Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 29 November 2013

The votes are in for the fourth annual Progressive Forage Grower Hay Bale Decorating Contest!

First prize – Thanksgiving turkey submitted by Heather Burkholder

The Burkholder Angus Farm’s Thanksgiving turkey hay bale creation in Platteville, Wisconsin, is an annual event for Andrew and Heather Burkholder, their daughters and Andrew’s parents.

Each October they create the turkey display, and they do it simply because they enjoy it. Their neighbors enjoy it, too, and Heather says many people have stopped and taken pictures over the years.

The materials they use include one round bale, a wooden head and neck, tin for the tail feathers, and wire and stakes to hold it all together and keep the wind from blowing it around. No turkey would be complete with the accompanying pumpkin, and this year’s pumpkin weighed 296 pounds.

Second prize – Santa Claus by Chris Ray
Chris Ray’s Santa Claus entry from Mount Ida, Arkansas, started out as a “hay man” but as the holidays drew nearer, it naturally evolved into a holiday theme. Ray stated no one in his county had created bale art before, but seeing other bale creations in magazines inspired him to give it a shot.

Ray used three round bales and four square bales to complete the figure. He used metal to support the arms, a feed sack for the hat, bucket lids for the eyes, a bed sheet for the beard and a plywood cutout for the mouth.

Chris Ray Santa made of hay
Ray stated people drove 30-40 miles to see his creation.

He says, “My driveway in the field where it’s sitting has tire ruts worn where people went in and out [to take pictures].” He says it’s been a blast to see the community response and kids on the school busses said it got them ready for Christmas.

Third prize – Scottish Terrier by Wyatt Vincent
Wyatt Vincent, his wife Christine, and brother Jason took one weekend, starting Saturday morning and working until Sunday evening, to create the Scottish terrier in Vergennes, Vermont.

Vincent actually has a business, Vermont Bale Creations, where he makes entries for businesses raising money for local charities. Vincent used round and square bales, rebar, chicken wire and 15 gallons of paint for his hay creation.

Vincent says, “… the local townspeople in the area like the projects because with all the bad things going on in the world – for people to take and stop for a couple of minutes out of their busy lives it puts a smile on their faces, and I guess that’s why I mainly do them. That means the most to me.”

View all the 2013 entries.
Scottish Terrier made of hay by Wyatt Vincent
Congratulations to the 2013 contest winners. The first place winner will be receiving a choice of original artwork prints by Kevin D. Brown, featured on the cover of Progressive Forage Grower. The second and third place winners will receive their choice of Progressive Publishing hats.

We thank all those who entered the contest and shared their very creative displays. The lineup was pretty impressive this year. Thanks, too, to those of you who voted. We very much look forward to seeing the entries for next year.  FG