According to California Bountiful, "First-generation farmers, Traphagan’s family grows certified-organic grains in Ravendale, a tiny Lassen County town. One day, while harvesting alfalfa, part of the crew ran into some machinery problems and Traphagan was called out to help. On the way, she glanced over to the other side of the field, saw this picturesque scene, grabbed her smartphone and snapped the photo. 'Every once in a while, I just stop and go, "Wow! We live in a really pretty spot.' … When I see something like this, I love taking an opportunity to capture it and it’s usually spur of the moment — that’s when the best stuff happens.”

Amateur photographers honored for images of agriculture, including one from Ravendale

 A land conservation professional from Nevada City has earned first place in the 41st annual California Farm Bureau Photo Contest. Maddison Easley won $1,000 for her photo of a ray of sunlight shining through the haze of a smoldering fire, with a charred tree in the foreground.

“It was an eerily beautiful scene I wanted to capture on camera,” she said.

Open to Farm Bureau members, the contest invited amateur photographers to enter photos that revealed a glimpse of farm life. They came through with shots of animals, produce, machinery, landscapes and employees hard at work or breaking for play.

Amy Blagg, of Lodi, earned second place and $500 for her photo of a cow nuzzling her days-old calf. Third place and $250 went to first-generation farmer Andrea Traphagan, of Ravendale, for her shot of a cloud-shrouded alfalfa harvest. Ed Williams, of Port Hueneme, received fourth place and $100 for a sweeping landscape of orange, lemon and avocado groves with mountains in the background.

Six photographers earned Honorable Mentions and $50 each: Keith Bettencourt, of Visalia, Brayden Gish, of Vacaville, Gloria Hauff, of Tulare, Gloria Mercado-Martin, of Fairfield, Bailey Randel, of Los Molinos, and Mackenzie Yerian, of Tracy.

Winners of the Budding Artists category for photographers 13 and younger were 12-year-old Lane Toledo, of Visalia, and 9-year-old Natalie Webb, of St. Helena. Lane, an Angus breeder, earned $250 for a closeup of a cow at his family’s ranch. Natalie received $100 for her photo of grapevines with a backdrop of fog and mountains. Those prizes were presented by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

All 12 prize-winning photos have been published in the weekly California Farm Bureau newspaper, Ag Alert®, and its bimonthly magazine, California Bountiful®. They also appear on the organization’s websites — and, — and will be featured on its social media pages. High-resolution versions of the winning images for republication are available upon request.

The California Farm Bureau works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 29,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of 5.3 million Farm Bureau members.