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Rural Kansas Photo Contest winners illustrate the unique beauty of Kansas

The annual rural photo contest, supported by KU Medical Center Rural Health Education and Services, celebrates its 17th year.

Colorful sunrise in the sky above a field with a round hay bale.
Farm Sunrise, ©Pamela Peters. First place, On the Farm.

A stupendous sunrise, a stellar sunset and an exhausted squirrel were just some of the winners of the 2022 Rural Kansas Photo Contest.

The contest, sponsored by Rural Health Education and Services (RHES) at the University of Kansas Medical Center, commemorates what makes Kansas such a special place.  On Nov. 17, more than 800 people voted in this year’s contest, either via online or in person at National Rural Health Day receptions in Kansas.

“Our audience has grown over the years,” said Jenifer Yuza, marketing and resource manager for RHES. “In the 17 years of the contest, we’ve increased communication about contest dates, new categories and voting opportunities.”

New categories are popular

Among all categories, 248 photographers entered 995 different photos into competition. New to the 2022 contest were two categories — “On the Farm” and a special category just for youth ages 13 to 17 to share their best photographs. In the latter category, 33 teen photographers submitted 57 entries for judging.

“There were some amazing photographs, and we are so happy that they took the initiative to enter this first year,” Yuza said. “The photos were so good that we ended up with eight finalists in that category instead of the usual six finalists.”

Given its popularity, the youth category will be back for the 2023 contest, Yuza said.

The other new category of “On the Farm” received the second-most entries of any other category except Sun, Wind or Rain. “Our community jumped at the chance to showcase farm life in the best ways possible,” Yuza said.

For all photos

For a look at all the winners, check out the RHES Facebook page.

Kansas Sunset, ©Alaina Logan. First place, Youth.
Shady Cat, ©Gavin Vogelsberg. Second place, Youth.
Sunset Reflections, ©Sarah Esposito. Second place, Sun, Wind or Rain.
Squirrel Exhaustion, ©Neal Bralley. First place, Wildlife and Critters.

Photo contest calendar available

Rural Health Education and Services is again offering a calendar that features selected images from the contest. Calendars are $15 shipped, and proceeds are used to offset the cost of the contest.

Order a calendar

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