Formerly of Grundy Center, Iowa, photojournalist Harlen Persinger now calls Wisconsin home is this year's grand prize honors for the sixth National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.

According to the Grundy Register, Persinger, who was raised on a farm south of Grundy Center by his parents, Francis and Celestine, has spent much of his life immersed in photography and agriculture.

His photo titled "Solid Foundation" features a farm couple checking out a corn field in the sun's fading light. 

A grand prize was also awarded for the single most popular photo, taken by Tricia Braid of Illinois, “Reflecting on 2019” which gained 1,272 likes on Facebook. The photo of corn plants surrounded by water reflects much of the struggle farmers across the nation faced in 2019.

“These photos represent a combination of difficulty and optimism,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove in a news release. “With delays in planting and harvest for many, the contest was naturally off to a slow start, but the overall outcome gives us so much to look back on.”

“We continue to look at different ways to improve the contest by adding new categories. In 2018, we added the True Grit category to highlight the hard work farmers put in every day. We tweaked that for 2019 with the True Grit Women’s Edition,” Musgrove added.

In total, 23 prizes were awarded across seven categories ranging from farming challenges to growing field corn to the farm family lifestyle. Winners are determined through a combination of Facebook likes and consideration of a panel of judges.

Images submitted to the contest are valuable assets for NCGA in publications, social media channels and the website. The contest will re-open in spring 2020. 

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