SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – State Treasurer Mike Frerichs celebrated some of the best agricultural photography in the state with the 10th annual Cream of the Crop contest at the state fair on Tuesday.

Frerichs said the contest’s purpose is for kids to discover the beauty of agriculture. 

“Agriculture is the number one industry in the state of Illinois, and we want to make sure that young people are aware of this.” Frerichs said. “They know what opportunities they have for future careers.”

Two of the winners hail from central Illinois. Siblings Waylon (in the ages 15-18 category) and Caroline (in the ages 8-10 category) from Wellington both won with different photos of the same girl.

“I took a photo of a little girl named Millie Jean,” Waylon said. “She does rodeos for fun. She’s four. So it’s pretty awesome. But [I] got her out in the pasture with one of my heifer cows and took a photo.”

The winner’s photos will hang in the Capitol in addition to being used as promotional materials for AgInvest, the treasurer’s program for long-term, low-interest loans for agricultural businesses. New this year, all winners also received a $1,000 college scholarship.

The link to all the winning photographs can be found here