Illinois students can win scholarships through agriculture photo contest

Students aged 8 to 18 are invited to submit photos of their unique vision of agriculture in Illinois to the 2024 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest by Friday, June 14, for a chance to win Bright Start scholarships.

Scholarships of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded to students placing first, second or third in each of the three age categories. Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs’ office sponsors the contest, which puts a spotlight on agriculture and young people’s creativity.

“We encourage students to explore the beauty and diversity of Illinois agriculture, and we celebrate our great state’s status as a leader in the agricultural industry.” Mr. Frerichs said in a news release.

The Treasurer’s Office is accepting electronic submissions for the Cream of the Crop Photo Contest at Top photographs will be chosen in three age-based categories: ages 8‑10, 11‑14 and 15-18. Each student may submit up to two photos by June 14. To see last year’s winners click here.

To read the rules, terms, and legal conditions associated with this contest, visit the Treasurer’s Office website at or contact Teri Whitfield at (217) 900-0075.

Now in its 12th year, the photo contest offers Illinois students an opportunity to highlight their most innovative or scenic pictures that depict their vision of agriculture in our state. More than 700 students have participated since it debuted in 2013, submitting more than 1,200 photos.

The Cream of the Crop Photo Contest is part of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Ag Invest program. Winning photos will be featured in Ag Invest marketing material and next year’s Cream of the Crop calendar, as well as at the 2024 Illinois State Fair.

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