THE winners of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists (Northern Section) Photo-graphy Competition has been ann-ounced.
The theme for the competition was ‘Agriculture through Covid’. In total, 28 entries were sent in from members and featured a self-isolating cow peeking out of an old house, doorstep milk deliveries that made a comeback in lockdown and ‘socially distanced’ tractors working in a field.
Cliff Donaldson, who judged the competition entries, said: “There was a large response from Guild members. Entries were varied and showed a lot of creativity and different elements of the pandemic. The spread of coronavirus has had an enormous impact everywhere.
“It continues to cause significant issues for agriculture and I was looking for pictures that showed how farmers were responding to these changes.”
Congratulating the winner, Rachel Martin, on her picture from the Ulster Farmers’ Union drive-in AGM at Balmoral Park, with the outgoing UFU President Ivor Ferguson on a large screen, Cliff said: “With the lockdown preventing indoor gatherings the UFU were forced to have an outdoor AGM, the first in its long history spanning more than a century.
“Rachel’s picture captured this unique event that has never happened before. It is a historic picture that tells of how the farming community used its inventiveness and adapted to the restrictions. Well done Rachel!”
Speaking about the runner-up entry, Rebecca McConnell’s picture of a Massey Ferguson tractor underneath dark clouds and a rainbow, Cliff said: “Rainbows have become a familiar symbol during Covid-19, speaking of the hope and the way people paid thanks to key workers by showing rainbows in their windows.
“Getting a picture of a real rainbow is not easy, you have to be in the right place at the right time. The farmer in the tractor is nicely framed with the Mourne Mountains in the distance.”
Third place went to Sara McCracken for her picture of three people wearing brightly coloured wellington boots going on a walk to bring in the cows. Cliff commented: “For many people, doing their daily walk was their only form of exercise in the first phase of lockdown, it was a positive thing for families to do together.
“For farmers of course, it’s something they do every day when fetching cows for milking. The brightly coloured wellies linked in well to the rainbow colours that have become so familiar during the pandemic.”