Agricultural Photo Contest Winners

The Chatham 250 Agriculture Photo Contest has ended. These photographs highlight agriculture in Chatham County, including agricultural landscapes, livestock, farm activities like planting and harvesting, farm equipment, and farm workers. Each contestant also included a written reflection explaining the significance of the photo.


The judging committee received many beautiful entries making this a difficult contest to judge. Winners were selected not only for the beauty of their photograph, but also for their thoughtful and careful consideration put into their reflection. The judging committee would like to thank all contestants for their entries. It was truly a pleasure to judge such wonderful photographs. 

Chatham 250 is proud to announce the following winners:

11 - 17 Age Category 

Macy Beavers









This photo is of my "Paw Paw" in front of one of his three gardens. He plants every summer and always has the best tomatoes, okra, cantaloupes, watermelons, green beans, peas, and anything else you could think of.  In the picture you can see the okra; to the right with the blooms, some tomatoes; very small in the middle background, and bean vines; on the left side. This photo is important to me because I love my Paw Paw and ever since I can remember he has always planted a garden that our family and some of our church members and neighbors can enjoy! I hope I too can one day have a garden as great as his and make lots of people happy with great produce!

18 - 64 Age Category 

Kristi Eskelund
















I used to dread the question, “Where are you from?”  because I spent much of my life moving.  My dad followed business deals, and later I followed my Marine through 17 moves in a 30-year career.  While we loved our military life, we’ve finally retired to a place we can truly call home here in Chatham County. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen my man happier than he’s been clearing, building, fencing, planting, mowing, and all the other physical labors involved in starting a farm.  We have our coffee and enjoy the sunrise and sounds of our animals and breakfast harvested right from our garden and we feel part of something elemental.

Now my frequently asked question is, “Why did you want sheep?” My answer:  sheep are pleasant animals. They make a low impact on the land, and they contribute to natural textiles as opposed to synthetics.  They fit nicely into our permaculture model, part of which is permanent attraction for our children and grandchildren.  All those years of military service were ultimately about protecting this picture and others like it, a way of life that feeds body, heart, mind, and soul.

Barbara Hengstenberg






Our four rescue alpacas arrived here at Wildefern Farm last year. They all came from sadly horrific circumstances, but we now ensure that they have a safe home, all the grass and hay they can eat, and are lovingly tucked into their barn every night. Morgan, Miss B, Mindi, and Maddi seem to enjoy their forever home here with us, along with their chicken friends!

65 and Older Age Category 

Zen Shoemaker










I was renting a house in Bynum and wanted to buy a place out in the country with land. I had a hard time finding anything until I saw a house with an acre and a Siler City address.  I was driving along a country road on the way to see the listing and as I came around a curve I saw this view.  I stopped my car and realized I had goosebumps all over my arms.  This was it - this was the country life I missed.  The sky and the cows and the pond and even the pond scum, dagnabbit! The house for sale was a little bit further up the road and the whole time driving to it I was praying that it would be the home for me.  It was. It is. This photo is of my neighbor’s place with another neighbor’s cows grazing on it.  This is how we do it out here, neighbors helping neighbors.  Cooperation at its best.  

This view means magic to me and it guided me home.  I still get goosebumps.

Gary Simpson | All in a day's work








On the 250th anniversary of Chatham County, nothing says rural Chatham and agriculture like Old-Fashioned Farmers’ Days. Held annually at the iconic Farm Heritage Park in Silk Hope, it is the oldest on-going event in the county with a near half century history.

At its inception in April of 1771 Chatham was already settled by subsistence farmers who eked out a living from the red clay soil beneath their feet. As a re-enactor for the Chatham County Historical Association, my character (John Brooks) was one of those early farmers who grew crops, raised livestock and ran a grist mill.

That’s why I appreciate the many glimpses into Chatham’s rich agricultural past that Old -Fashioned Farmers’ Days offers, such as this image of prized work horses pulling the disc harrow. Horses such as this were often the most valuable thing the farm family owned.


Congratulations to our winners and their captivating and engaging photographs! 

Winners received a canvas print of their photo, and winning photos will be published in Chatham Magazine.


The Chatham 250 Agriculture event is generously sponsored by Chatham County Farm Bureau.