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Nominate your favorite farm dog todayNominate your favorite farm dog today

Prairie Farmer’s Favorite Farm Dog Contest is open and taking nominations. You know your farm dog is the best — show us why.

Holly Spangler

February 15, 2019

2 Min Read
two dogs and pair of legs in boots walking in between cows
FARM DOG: Barb Helmink’s Teutopolis, Ill., farm is home to Prairie Farmer’s 2018 Favorite Farm Dog, Roxie, a 3-year-old Welsh corgi.

Nearly every farm has a faithful canine sidekick, and we’d love to meet yours! The Prairie Farmer Favorite Farm Dog Contest is open for 2019 and taking entries. And if we’ve learned one thing in our years of holding this contest, it’s that Illinois farmers have some pretty incredible dogs. 

What about you? Is your farm dog tops? We’re willing to bet the answer is yes. Make sure your dog gets his or her day by nominating them for the 2019 Favorite Farm Dog Contest. To enter your dog, send in your favorite photo and an essay sharing your dog’s best stories, telling us exactly why they should be Prairie Farmer’s 2019 Favorite Farm Dog. Please limit essays to 300 words.

In your essay, please include what makes your dog the perfect canine candidate. Include your name, address and phone number, plus the photographer’s name. Entries are due March 25, and you can use the entry form below.

Prizes for you
The winner of the contest will receive a complete photo shoot of their dog on the farm, on the job and with family members, plus a 16-by-20-inch Modern Metals wall art hanging featuring their favorite dog photo, complete with his or her winning credentials. In addition, the first-place farm dog will receive $100; second place receives $75, and third place receives $50.

And don’t forget the real prize: neighborhood glory for your four-legged friend.

Last year’s winner, 3-year-old Roxie, lives with her owner, Barb Helmink, on their Teutopolis, Ill., farm. Roxie won for her plucky ability to join Barb morning and night for chores, barking to move dairy steers back from the feed bunk so Barb can feed them. But Roxie’s had an even more important job on the farm: faithful companion and listening ear. After Barb’s husband, Joe, died suddenly three years ago, her daughter Beth brought Roxie home for her. Turns out, Roxie was just what Barb needed.

“You can talk to a dog about all kinds of things,” Barb says. Roxie follows Barb to the garden throughout the summer, lying in the cool soil as she waits. When the gardening and other chores are done, they sit for a spell in the swing that Joe built.

“We sit in the swing and we just talk,” Barb says. “She’s sure been good for me!”

Be sure to get those nominations polished and sent in by March 25. Send digital entries using the form below. Entrants must be 14 years of age or older; all photos become property of Prairie Farmer and will not be returned.

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About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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