Larry Mendenhall of Altoona and Erika Matsuyama of Ankeny were named winners of the inaugural Celebration of Iowa: Agriculture Art Awards, a new contest at the 2012 Iowa State Fair. The contest, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, along with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Iowa Farm Bureau, is a juried competition of artwork that innovatively celebrates the natural beauty of Iowa and its role as a global leader in agriculture.
"The entries are a testament to the artistic vision and beauty of our state and we are honored to be a part of such a noble endeavor, bringing Iowa's beauty to a larger audience," says Craig Hill, president of Iowa Farm Bureau.
* In the Adult Division (age 18 and over), Mendenhall received the top honor for his photograph, Summer Storm. Lori Miller of Eldridge and Sandy Dyas of Iowa City took second and third place, respectively.
* In the Youth Division (age 17 and under), Matsuyama won first place for her painting, Domination Celebration. Aleyna Moeller of West Des Moines and Trent Williamson of Earlham received second and third place, respectively.
Artists did tremendous job showcasing Iowa and the natural beauty of the state
Mendenhall and Matsuyama received $1,250 each and will be recognized at the presidents dinner during the 2012 National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) annual meeting. Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, is currently serving as president of NASDA and will host the association's annual meeting in Des Moines Sept. 12 -17, 2012. Second place winners received $750 and third place winners received $500. Iowa Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the prizes.