October 9, 2023
Sue Hornickel farms with her husband, Steve, and their family in southern Valley County near Ord, Neb. At this year’s Nebraska State Fair, she took first place in open-class photography in the “This Is Nebraska” contest with a photo depicting the singing of the national anthem July 26 at Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell.
It is a long tradition that the winning photo from this class is published in Nebraska Farmer, and Hornickel’s photo, titled “Respect,” captured rodeo visitors showing homage shown to the flag and country during each rodeo before a performance.
According to the state fair entry book, this class in the photography contest is for color prints that depict, promote or exemplify Nebraska, its people, its lifestyle or its environs as a great place to live or visit.
“I feel this photo represents the values of Nebraska,” Hornickel says, “and I’m proud to be a part of that.” She notes that she and Steve enjoy attending the rodeo in Burwell because it falls near their wedding anniversary on July 30. They celebrated their 35th anniversary in 2023.
“This year, one of our granddaughters tried for Little Miss Burwell Rodeo, and the crowning was held the same evening I took the photo. She was runner-up,” Hornickel says.
Hornickel was not the only celebrated amateur photographer in the area where she lives, known as Mira Valley. Robyn Koelling, a fellow farmer and Mira Valley resident, won the advanced amateur division in the state fair photography contest. Also, Hornickel’s daughter, Trysten, won the overall amateur division.
Hornickel shot her winning “This Is Nebraska” photo with her Nikon D7200 camera, using a 70-300 mm lens.
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