popular hay bale decorating contest showcases agriculture
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Popular hay bale decorating contest showcases Virginia agriculture

hay bale decorated
(© Bonita – stock.adobe.com)

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee’s hay bale decorating contest is back, and individuals and organizations are invited to help celebrate agriculture with imaginative hay bale displays.

For eight years, the committee has encouraged communities across Virginia to highlight their love for farming through creative displays.

“It’s a fun way for people to come together, build something out of hay bales and express their voices and artistic side,” said Susan Harrell, Southeast District leader for the VFBF women’s leadership committee. “It’s not just for the kids – adults enjoy getting involved too and sharing their creativity through agriculture.”

Applications will be accepted from Sept. 1 through Nov. 1. The contest is open to anyone, including farmers markets, farm supply businesses, student groups, community associations, individuals and county farm bureaus.

Participants can showcase their ingenuity by converting round or square bales into animals, structures, shapes and farmscapes. Other items such as corn stalks, farm tools, pallets and pumpkins can be used alongside bales to create various scenes.

Guidelines and an entry form are available at bit.ly/3Q9gNyB.

Participants are required to include a photograph of the hay bale display with each application.

There are five classes:

  • best promotional display for agriculture business or commodity
  • best promotional display for community spirit
  • most creative
  • best agricultural theme
  • best agribusiness, FFA, 4-H or school display

Winners will be selected in each category and will receive a cash award.

Photos of contest entries will be displayed in late November at the 2022 VFBF Annual Convention in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Last year’s contest received a record 52 entries, with displays encompassing farm animals, aquaculture, horticulture, farm machinery and farm safety.

Winning entries included a scene encouraging people to drive carefully during fall harvest season; a train made of hay bales celebrating Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations like FFA and Agriculture in the Classroom; and two creative displays of a fish and an owl made of round bales.

The displays generate a lasting impression and typically are placed near schools, outside of businesses, at county Farm Bureau offices and in people’s yards.

“It’s fun for everyone to ride around and see the different displays throughout the counties and state,” said Harrell.

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