West Virginia Conservation Agency  •  1900 Kanawha Blvd. E. •  Charleston, WV 25305  •  304-558-2204
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Conservation Photo Contest

PDF Guidelines & Judging Standards

PDF Contest Entry Form

A picture can be worth a thousand words. Good photographs can lend a helping hand to numerous projects: they strengthen publicity for a fund-raiser, make a newsletter more appealing, and reveal the beauty of wetlands to elementary students. To recognize individuals who use this tool effectively and creatively, the West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts (WVACD) is sponsoring its annual Conservation Photo Contest.

There will be a cash prize awarded for first, second, and third place entries in the contest:

  • $75 for 1st place
  • $50 for 2nd place
  • $25 for 3rd place

To be entered into the WVCAD Photo Contest all photos must first be entered into the local Conservaiton District Photo Contest. Contact your local conservation district for their deadline.

Trout Creek - Chris Carpenter A Windmill in West Lane County - Marit Ehmke
Tiger Swallowtail on Coneflower - Pata Mcnabb Market Fresh - Joshua G. Triggs Top of the World - Kim Hemenway
The photo's above were taken directly from the NACD website.


Photographs may be entered in the following categories:

1) Conservation Practices (examples):
Contour Buffer Strips
Contour Farming & Stripcropping
Cover Crop
Critical Area Planting
Crop Residue Management
Crop Rotation
Field Borders
Grade Stabilization Structures (dam/embankment)
Grass Waterways
Livestock Management
Manure Storage and Runoff Control
Nutrient Management
Pasture Planting
Pest Management
Riparian Buffer
Rotational Grazing
Stream bank & Shoreline Stabilization
Tree Planting
Upland Wildlife Habitat
Water & Sediment Control Basin
Well Abandonment
Wetland Restoration
Wildlife Food
Plot Windbreaks
Woodlot Management
2) Close Up Conservation (examples):
Aquatic insects
Clean water
Crops and plants and water/rain
Dirty water/sediment
Farm implements
Hands/tools in soil, water, grains, on farm animals
Plants and soil/residue
Prairie plants
Water drops/drips/splashes
3) Conservation in Action (examples):
Conservation Planning
District events (community meetings, field days, fairs, exhibits)
Farmers/landowners (conservation-related events, etc.)
Interaction with landowners
Irrigation/crops and water/wildflowers and water
Office staff at work
Supervisors/Board (meetings, activities, interaction)
Technical staff at work
Wildlife, insects, livestock, aquatic life, etc.
Youth (school programs, speech, poster contests, Envirothon, on farm, conservation-related events, etc.)
4) Ag/Conservation Across America (examples):
Farm Practices
Fence rows
Implements and tools
Tree Farm


  • 1. The contest is open to amateur photographers (those who make less than 50 percent of their income from photography) who are residents of the United States, or its territories. Each participant may enter up to, but no more than, five photographs.
    Photos will not be returned.
  • 2. Black-and-white prints, color prints, and prints from digital photos are all acceptable and will be judged together. Do not send photo reproductions from a printed publication.
  • 3. Photos submitted to the WVACD contest must be an 8X10. Photos shall not be matted.
  • 4. Images must not have been digitally altered in any way other than necessary burning, dodging and cropping.
  • 5. A completed entry form must accompany each photograph submitted.
  • 6. A 3x5 notecard containing the following information must be attached to the back of each photo. Please include:
    • A. Photographer's name and phone number.
    • B. Title of photograph. Please use same title as on entry form.
    • C. Subject. Names and titles are needed for each person in the photo. (Take care to identify each person and spell names correctly.)
    • D. Location. If the photograph is of a district technician helping a farmer, identify the farm, county and state. If the photo shows a city park, mention the name of the park and the state.
    • E. Description. Is the child with the magnifying glass examining a crack in the sidewalk or a line of ants carrying food?
    • F. Date of photo. Exact dates are not necessary, but at least give the year.
  • 7. Photos submitted must be taken in West Virginia.
  • 8. All entries become the property of WVACD, and WVACD reserves the non-exclusive right to use all photographs in publications or for promotional purposes. Entrants should keep negatives or extra prints of their photographs.
  • 9. Judges will select a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner in the adult (18 years or older on July 1) and youth category. Winning photos will receive a cash prize, which will be awarded by each district. The state contest winners' photos will also be sent to be judged in the National Association of Conservation District's photo contest.
  • 10. All entries must be submitted by the local conservation district prior to the standing committee meeting at the July Quarterly Meeting. Check with your local conservation district for the deadline for their contest. Placing a piece of cardboard in the envelope and writing "Photographs: Do Not Bend" on the envelope will help ensure that photographs arrive in good condition.

Judging Standards

Photos will be judged on technical merit and composition. For technical merit, judges may check to see if the photo is well-framed, properly exposed and sharp and clear. For composition, judges determine if the photo features a recognizable center of interest, action and imagination and creativity.

View Past Winners:


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