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Photo contest illustrates California farm life

Resendiz takes second place

SACRAMENTO – A college student from Los Banos majoring in plant and soil sciences has earned first place in the 42nd annual California Farm Bureau Photo Contest.

Cayden Pricolo, who won $1,000 for an action shot of the hand harvest of watermelons at a farm in her hometown, noted that photography is an invaluable tool for helping urban and suburban residents understand where their food comes from.

"Photography is a good way to advocate and show the rest of the world how the ag industry is done," she said. "Without these people doing this manual labor, we wouldn't be able to have successful farming to provide food for the world."

The 2023 photo contest attracted hundreds of images from amateur photographers who are members of county Farm Bureaus throughout the state. Contestants used digital cameras and smartphones to capture the winning images.

Ismael (Mel) Resendiz of Fallbrook garnered second place and $500 for a photo of an employee harvesting protea flowers at his 250-acre farm. Resendiz can't possibly choose from among the more than 300 varieties of protea flowers curated over 30 years at Resendiz Brothers farm in Fallbrook.

"I keep every one. When people ask me what's my favorite, I say, 'All of them,'" Resendiz said. But he will admit he was particularly inspired to capture the first harvest of the Lady Di protea, one of the newest on his 250-acre flower farm in the Pauma Valley.

Protea flowers are some of the oldest flowers on Earth and grow on steep hillsides. As one of the workers scaled the hill with fresh Lady Di blooms on his shoulder and the Palomar Mountain in the background, Resendiz had to pull out his iPhone.

All 12 prize-winning photos were published this week in Ag Alert®, the California Farm Bureau's weekly newspaper, and California Bountiful®, the organization's magazine.

Winning images may be viewed at

This is an edited version of the story from the California Farm Bureau.


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