Indianola Residents Place in Statewide Photo Contest | Local News


SPRINGFIELD — Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced the winners of the 2022 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest, which included two Indianola residents.

The contest encourages young photographers to share their vision of agriculture in Illinois.

“Thank you to all the talented young photographers who participated in this year’s Crème de la crème photo contest and who helped us celebrate the contest’s 10th anniversary. Congratulations to the winners, who receive Bright Start Scholarships that they can use in the future for eligible expenses related to their post-secondary education,” said Frerichs.

“We are proud of all the students for their initiative and creativity. They did a great job capturing many beautiful images that illustrate the importance of agriculture in Illinois,” Frerichs added. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet many of these honorees and admire their work at a reception at the Illinois State Fair.”

A cake reception will be held at 11:30 a.m. on August 16 at the Illinois State Fair to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Harvest Cream Photo Contest and honor the first place winners. Second and third place winners and their families are invited to the reception, which is open to the public and will be held at the Treasurer’s Tent on the fairgrounds.

The winning photos in each of the age categories are visible on the Treasurer’s website: Winning entries and other photo submissions will be featured in Ag Invest marketing materials, including the 2022-2023 Ag Invest Calendar. The best photos will also be displayed at the Illinois State Fair and the Illinois State Capitol.

Students participating in the competition were allowed to submit up to two photos, and a jury selected the winning photos. The judges were Mary Morgan, senior manager of asset quality and assurance at Compeer Financial; Scott Rhoads, regional chairman of Carrollton Bank; Gary Mueller, vice president of the National Bank of Havana; and Riley Duckworth, associate director of the Illinois Foundation FFA.

The competition included three age categories – 8-10 years old, 11-14 years old and 15-18 years old.

The top winners received Bright Start scholarships, with first place winners in each age category receiving $1,000, second place winners receiving $500, and third place winners receiving $250.

The winning students were allowed to receive a scholarship.

Illinois’ Bright Start 529 College Savings Plan is one of the highest-rated 529 plans in the nation and has earned Morningstar’s Gold rating for five consecutive years.

Money from 529 College Savings Accounts can be used to pay for tuition, books, and other eligible expenses at eligible educational institutions, including public and private, two-year, colleges and universities. four-year and some technical and vocational schools.

The investment grows tax-free when spent on qualifying expenses.

As state treasurer, Frerichs is a trustee and administrator of 529 Illinois University Savings Programs.

For more information on Office of the Treasurer’s 529 Education Savings Programs, visit

The crème de la crème photo contest is part of the Ag Invest program in the Treasurer’s Office.

Ag Invest is one of the largest agriculture-related deposit programs in the nation, and it helps hundreds of Illinois farmers and agricultural professionals.

Through Ag Invest, the Treasurer’s Office partners with eligible financial institutions to offer farmers and agricultural businesses annual and long-term low-interest loans that can be used for operating costs , equipment purchases, construction expenses and livestock purchases.

Winners of the 8-10 age group

First place: Caroline Lee, Miss Millie Jean, Wellington, Illinois (Iroquois County)

Second place: Adison Oxford, firstborn, Golconda, Illinois (Pope County)

Third place: Adison Oxford, Olaf, Golconda, Illinois (Pope County)

Third place: Alyssa Taylor, The Family Farm, Pontiac, Illinois (Livingston County)

Winners of the 11-14 age group

First place: Grace McCarty, Harvest Day, Grayville, Illinois (White County)

Second place: Lily DeAth, four generations, Indianola, Illinois (Vermilion County)

Third place: Lucy DeAth, young farmer-in-training, Indianola, Illinois (Vermilion County)

Third place: Nolan Lee, Future Farmer, Wellington, Illinois (Iroquois County)

Winners of the 15-18 age group

First place: Waylon Lee, Best Buddies, Wellington, Illinois (Iroquois County)

First place: Alec Shields, Wheat Production, Carbondale, IL (Jackson County)

Second place: Drew Mickey, Never Gets Old, Taylorville, Illinois (Christian County)

Second place: Alec Shields, Afternoon Dusting, Carbondale, Illinois (Jackson County)

Third place: Abby Chamberlain, The Detailed Stem, Nebo, Illinois (Pike County)

About the Illinois Treasurer

As Illinois State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs is the state’s Chief Investment and Banking Officer and actively manages approximately $52 billion.

The portfolio includes $27 billion in public funds, $16 billion in retirement and education savings plans, and $9 billion on behalf of local and state governments.

Frerichs’ office protects consumers by protecting more than $3.5 billion in unclaimed property, encouraging college or trade school savings plans, increasing financial education for all ages, helping people with disabilities save without losing government benefits and removing barriers to a secure retirement.

The office of treasurer predates Illinois incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 elected to make it an elected office.


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