A Raleigh girl is among winners of the 2018 Cream of the Crop Sixth Annual Contest honoring youth and agriculture, according to Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs.
The contest encourages young photographers to share their vision of agriculture in our state.
Kailyn Williams of Raleigh took second place in the age 11-14 bracket with "Lesson in Ag."
"Each year, this photography contest highlights the beauty of Illinois agriculture and the talent of children throughout this state," Frerichs said. "Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. It was fun to get a glimpse of local farms, animals, and the beautiful landscape of the place we call home."
The winning entries will be featured in the Treasurer's tent on the north side of Brian Raney Avenue during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. The fair kicks off on Aug. 9 with the Twilight Parade and ends Aug. 19.
Winning photo entries can be seen at illinoistreasurer.gov/Individuals/Ag_Invest/Cream_of_the_Crop_Winners. Winning photos and other submissions will be used in a calendar and Ag Invest marketing materials for the agriculture industry.
There were three categories in this year's photo contest: ages 8-10, 11-14, and 15-18.
Each student was allowed to submit up to two photos electronically.
Photo judges were FFA Director Mindy Bunselmeyer, Gary Mueller of Havana National Bank, Scott Rhoads of Carrollton Bank, and Rick Schramm of Illinois National Bank.
In addition to Kailyn Williams, other winners include 8-10 age bracket winners: first place, "Old John Deere," Olivia Mizeur of Taylorville; second place, "Still Waiting," Olivia Mizeur of Taylorville; and third place, "Country Crossroads," Macy Price of Troy.
Winners in the 11-14 age bracket: First place, "Ag in the Air," Alexandria Cassens of Byron; and third place, "A Mother's Love," Drew Mickey of Taylorville.
The 15-18 bracket winners: First place, "Sunrise," Kevin Toohill of Wapella; second place, "Save the Bees," Kalen Carrelli of Oswego; and third place, "My Grandparents' Farm," Jennifer Johnson of Hoffman.
Ag Invest is one of the nation's largest agricultural linked deposit programs. It helps hundreds of Illinois farmers and agriculture professionals. The Treasurer's Office, through Ag Invest, partners with eligible financial lenders to offer farmers annual and long-term, low-interest loans which can be used for operating costs, equipment purchases, construction-related expenses, and livestock purchases.