2008 IFAJ Photo Contest

Australia's Mike Dugdale has won the prestigious 2008 IFAJ Star Prize for Agricultural Photography from an international field of 118 entries, representing eighteen countries.

Dugdale was awarded the prize, sponsored by DeLaval, after winning one of three categories in the competition, which was revamped this year to offer separate awards for the best photographs depicting production, people and nature or landscapes.

Dugdale won the category for production. Laura Rance, from Canada, won the people section and 2006 Star Prize winner, John Eveson, from Great Britain, won the nature/landscape category.

The results were announced at the 2008 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) congress, held in Austria and Slovenia last week. The congress also honoured winners of the 2008 IFAJ Star Prize for Agricultural Journalism announced earlier this month.

Mike Dugdale took his lucky shot during the Casterton Pedigree Working Dogs Auction, where Australia's best working dogs are sold each year. The photo was published in the Geelong Advertiser, on June 12, 2007.

"No other photo can compete with this," one judge said. "The photo shows that timing is everything, and the timing of this shot was absolutely perfect Ð as was the lighting and composition. The expressions of those involved (spectator, dog owner, dog and the vaulting sheep) are priceless."

Laura Rance won the people category with "Classroom at farm", a photo showing a woman pollinating a flower with an insect. The judges were impressed by the composition and lighting of the difficult shot, which expresses the delicacy of the work. The photo was published in the Manitoba Co-operator on August 23, 2007.

John Eveson won the nature category with "Landscape with cows", depicting cows crossing a beautiful landscape. "A landscape picture with high agricultural impact, that couldn't have been done better," was the opinion of the judges. The photo was published in the Farmers Guardian on September 14, 2007.

The winners of each category received a cash prize of 250 euros and a certificate. The overall winner received a trophy, a cash prize of 500 Euros and an IFAJ pin. Winners also received a certificate from the sponsor, presented by DeLaval representative, Temis Tormo.

Because of the large number of excellent entries received, the judges decided to award one highly commended and eleven commended awards.

The highly commended award went to James Fashing, from Columbia, USA, for "Iceowl", published in the February 2007 issue of Today's Farmer magazine.

Commended awards in the people category went

  • "Triticale" by Matthew Cawood, Armidale, Australia, published in The Land on February 8, 2007;
  • "Peach work" by Jamie Reaume, Kitchener, Canada, published in The Grower in September 2007; and
  • "Barnong station" by Evan Collis, Roleystone, Australia, published in Beyond the Bale magazine in January 2007.

Commended awards in the production category went to:

  • "Mustering camels" by Evan Morgan, Townsville, Australia, published in the Townsville Bulletin on March 24, 2007;
  • "Cows On Moo-ve" by Kyle Rodriguez, Guelph, Canada, published in The Guelph Mercury, August 28, 2007;
  • "Fieldwork in autumn" by H. Dietrich Habbe, Molfsee, Germany, published in Bauernblatt Schleswig-Holstein, Issue 42, 2007; and
  • "Aoshima mandarin orange" by Hiroki Arai, Japan, published in the Japan Agricultural News, 2007.

Commended awards in the nature/landscape category went to:

  • "Combine sunset" by Harlen Persinger, Milwaukee, USA, published in The Corn and Soybean Digest, October 2007;
  • "Flowering rape" by Jonathan Page, Oxfordshire, Great Britain, published several times in 2007 for OSR stories and Bio Fuel features in Farmers Weekly and Crops magazine;
  • "Svalbard Global seed vault" by Even Bratberg, Aas, Norway, published in Aasnytt, issue No. 12, 2007; and
  • "Equilibrium" by Theuns Botha, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, published in Die Burger, November 14, 2007.