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The winner of the photo contest at the Nebraska State Fair shows ranch life in Holt County.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

October 4, 2022

1 Min Read
ranch life west of O’Neill on a foggy early morning.
FOGGY MORNING: Annette Leu’s winning photo depicts ranch life west of O’Neill, Neb., on a foggy morning. Annette Leu

Annette Leu of Waterbury, Neb., captured a foggy sunrise in the Sandhills at Leland Johnson’s ranch west of O’Neill for the winning entry in the “This is Nebraska” class in the photography contest at the Nebraska State Fair.

It is a long tradition that the winning photo from this class at state fair is published in Nebraska Farmer, and Leu’s photo truly captured the spirit of the Sandhills and Nebraska’s ranching legacy.

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.

“This photo tells the story of the Western culture and ranch life that is found in central and western Nebraska,” Leu says. “It depicts ‘living the dream.’”

Leu took this photo in September 2021 with her Canon Mark III, equipped with a 70-300-millimeter zoom lens. Nebraska Farmer congratulates Leu for capturing an iconic Nebraska ranching image, and for sharing it with our readers.

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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