2019 Photo Contest Winner Captures New Life on the Farm

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TN Home and Farm Photo Contest 2019

Photo by Rebecca Ballinger

When Rebecca Ballinger received her first professional camera as a gift from her husband after her son was born, she knew she would use it to capture the special moments of her family’s life on their East Tennessee dairy farm.

“I always take pictures of the farm and pictures of my kids, and any time I can incorporate those two together, that’s usually my goal,” Ballinger says. “I love being able to capture that part of their life. It’s not something that a lot of kids get to grow up in now.”

Ballinger’s photo of her son, Corban, petting a newborn calf on their family farm won the grand prize among hundreds of entries in Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s 2019 Photo Contest.

The day Ballinger snapped the winning photo, she was taking pictures in the buttercups with Corban when they saw a mother cow giving birth. As they approached the calf slowly, Corban asked if he could pet it. He first let the calf’s mother sniff his hand, and although mother cows can be very protective of their babies, she eventually let Corban sit down in the grass and pet her calf.

“It was a really sweet, magical moment,” Ballinger says.

Ballinger, who lives in Jefferson City with her husband and two children, works part time as a nurse when she’s not caring for the farm’s chickens, goats, sheep and alpaca. She also helps run the annual Ballinger Farm Crazy Maze, a popular agritourism destination for families in the fall.

Look for next year’s contest entry form in our spring issue. Until then, check out the category winners and honorable mentions here.


  1. Sean

    January 21, 2020 at 8:24 am

  2. Breana

    April 30, 2020 at 2:59 am

    They really deserved the award, an eye-catching photo with this little cute boy.

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