Amateur Photographers Sought For International Cowpea Festival

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The date for the second International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off is set for Sept. 14 in Charleston, which means amateur photographers can begin now to watch for photo opportunities across the seasons to enter in the second Agri-heritage Photo Contest

Homestead Lawn & Tractor Co. has also agreed to sponsor the contest again this year.

“The idea is to continue creating a greater awareness and appreciation of our agri-heritage in the Ocoee Region,” said Nancy Neal, vice president for communications, Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, and coordinator of the contest.

“We had some exceptional photos entered in our first contest,” Neal explained. “We hope to encourage a greater number of amateur photographers to begin taking pictures this spring to reflect our agri-heritage throughout the Ocoee Region.

“We’re looking for photos from all corners of the Ocoee Region that depict farm work, crops grown in the region, rural scenic beauty, things disappearing from the rural landscape like old barns and farm buildings, farm machinery, and anything else related to agri-tourism.”

Ms. Neal also noted that “this is a great time for schoolteachers to provide instruction about agriculture in the area and to encourage students of all ages to capture images that reflect farm work, gardening, old plows, granddads in their overalls, cows in the field—the photo opportunities are endless.”

The contest officially begins on March 1 and will end on Aug. 9.

“Photos taken during 2012 also will be accepted if they were not submitted for the first contest and since capturing our agri-heritage can be an ongoing project,” Neal added. “We hope folks will begin to think about capturing photos year-round.”

Competition is open to any amateur photographer—one who does not regularly receive income from photography—who lives in the Ocoee Region of Tennessee; that is, Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Polk and Hamilton counties. Young photographers are encouraged to enter the Budding Artists division for those 13 and younger. International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off organizers are not eligible to participate.

Categories for the “Agri-heritage in the Ocoee Region” contest include Kids and Critters on the Farm, Grown in the Ocoee Region (plants and production), Rural Beauty, Disappearing Landscape (barns, rural buildings, etc.), Agri-tourism (Corn Maze, Apple Festival, Country Fair, Apple Valley Orchard, Morris Vineyard and Winery, Farmers Market, etc.) and Budding Artists (photographers age 13 and under).

“Entrants may only submit their own original photographs in digital format online, with no more than three photos per entrant,” Ms. Neal said, adding that no cellphone photos will be accepted.

Photography/communications experts will judge the photos beginning Aug. 14, with winners announced at the International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off on Sept. 14. The top two photos in each category will be part of a temporary display housed in the new Hiwassee River Heritage Center in Charleston. The winners also will receive recognition on, as well as in local media outlets and on community websites.

For details about the contest, including how to submit photographs, visit

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