Knut Valberg of Norway Wins IFAJ Star Prize for Photography

BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota (July 27, 2019)—Norwegian photographer Knut Valberg was recognized by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) with the Star Prize for Photography, the organization’s honor for the best image in its worldwide competition. The award was announced at IFAJ’s World Congress in Bloomington, Minnesota.


One judge said of Valberg’s photo, “Harald Connecting with a Newborn Lamb,” “it has both a technical excellence and a profound intimacy.” Another judge noted, “I like the intimacy of the close crop and the light around the subjects.”

Valberg’s image was also the category winner of the IFAJ Star Prize “People” competition. Other winners in the photography competition announced at the Congress included:


  • Distinguished Recognition, Rob McMorris, Canada, “From Beakers to Brewing”


  • First place, Petra Jacob, United Kingdom, for ” Sheep Drive in the Caucasus”
  • Distinguished recognition: Tait Schmaal, Australia, “Adrian McCabe Last Harvest”


  • Hans-Peter Zwicklhuber, Austria, “Rainy Days”
Distinguished Recognition: Knut Valberg, Norway, "From Saltstraumen"

First-place winners of each category received a €250 prize. Valberg’s Star Prize award is accompanied by a €500 cash prize.


Contest judges included Jim Patrico, award-winning American photographer formerly of Progressive Farmer; Johnnie Belinda Cluff, a wedding photographer living in New Zealand; and Janice Thoroughgood, creative development specialist for Farm Credit Canada. The IFAJ Star Prize contest is sponsored by John Deere and Rabobank.


“Knut Valberg’s winning photograph reveals the power of photography to connect viewers to the subject and tell a story not just with facts, but with emotion,” said Steve Werblow, IFAJ secretary-general. “Among a field of outstanding images, it stood out in its ability to pull viewers into the scene with their hearts as well as with their eyes.”