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Prairie City photographer finalist in national contest

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 11:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 11:32 a.m. CDT

Scott Fairbairn’s photo of Wagaman Mill is one of five finalists for Best of Show in the 2012 “Capture the Heart of America” photo contest. Voting began Monday and will continue through Sunday at www.silosandsmokestacks.org.

The Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area sought out the best agriculturally-inspired photos for this year’s contest. The goal of the contest is to share and celebrate America’s unique agricultural story through photos from across the U.S. This year’s contest brought in 421 photos from 135 participants representing 34 different states.

Other finalists hail from Guttenberg, Missouri, Texas and Cedar Rapids.

“This was the first year we opened the contest to photos taken nationally,” SSNHA president Don Short said. “We are extremely excited to see the variety of photos from such a diverse section of the nation documenting this important part of America’s heritage.” 

The prize for Best of Show will be a Tamron 70-300mm image-stabilizing lens and a 12-by-18-inch custom framed print of the winning image donated by Porter’s Digital Cameras and Imaging of Cedar Falls. Top of Iowa Welcome Center in Northwood and Jean Stowell were supporting sponsors.

SSNHA is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. It covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa bordered by Interstate highways 35 and 80 and, through a network of sites, programs and events, it interprets farm life, agribusiness, and rural communities — both past and present.

Bob Eschliman can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 423 or via email at beschliman@newtondailynews.com.