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Photo contest captures the heart of American agriculture

From day-to-day life on the farm to the complex and ever-changing agricultural industry, agriculture has proven to be one of America's most compelling stories. To preserve and tell this continually evolving narrative, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) hosts its annual Capture the Heart of America Photo Contest. Through the contest, photographers from across the country share their own piece of this important story as they see it through their camera lens.

While the Heritage Area lies in a federally designated 37-county region of Northeast Iowa, the contest provides an outlet for documenting the broader American agricultural story found beyond the borders of the Heritage Area. Photos may be taken anywhere in the United State of America, except for one category dedicated to SSNHA Partner Sites. 

Contest categories include:

* American Farmscapes - From rustic farms to rolling hills of patchwork fields, the rural countryside holds a beauty uniquely American. This category captures this beauty through artistic depictions of farm and field scenes scattered throughout rural America.

* Life on the Farm - Farm life is characterized by hard work combined with a connection to the land. This category shares the story of the American farmer who helps feed the world, along with day-to-day life on the farm.

* Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites - From dairy farms and museums to vineyards and tractor assembly tours, more than 100 Designated Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area Partner Sites are sharing their own part of America's agricultural story in a 37-county region of Northeast Iowa. This category lets visitors share their experience at Heritage Area Partner Sites.

* Celebrations of Agriculture - Steeped in culture, festivals and fairs have long been held to celebrate American agriculture and the fruits of the harvest. From nationally recognized state fairs to a hometown rhubarb fest, this category commemorates the agricultural experience at countless events throughout the country. 

* America's Agricultural Industry - America's agricultural industry has helped to shape agriculture worldwide. From the relics of smokestacks that once dotted the American landscape to the barges that transport grain on the Mississippi River, this category captures this important story. 

Awards presented:
 
* Best of Show - $500 
* First Place - $100 (each category) 
* Second Place - $50 (each category) 
* Third Place - $25 (each category) 
* People's Choice - CyberLink PhotoDirector 5 (top five) 

Visit www.silosandsmokestacks.org for online entry form and complete contest rules/guidelines. Photo contest entries are due by October 29, 2014. For additional information, please email photocontest@silosandsmokestacks.org or call 319-234-4567. 

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