UACES Facebook Arkansas pets, places inspire 4-H photographers
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May 4, 2021

Arkansas pets, places inspire 4-H photographers

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • 4-H members photograph scenes and subjects in Arkansas for photo contest
  • Laney Hunter of Hot Springs wins Best of Show with picture of her dog
  • Winning photographs on the Arkansas 4-H Photography Facebook Page 
  • Contest named in honor of the late Jane Ross, philanthropist and photographer 

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LITTLE ROCK — Garland County 4-H member Laney Hunter found inspiration for this year’s 4-H photography contest in her four-legged friend.

BEST IN SHOW — Laney Hunter, 15, of Hot Springs, won Best in Show in the Ross Photography Contest with this photo of her miniature Dachshund. (Image courtesy by Laney Hunter.)

Her color photo of Daniel, a 1-year-old miniature Dachshund, won Best in Show in this year’s Ross Photography Contest, sponsored by Arkansas 4-H and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 

This year’s state winners, announced May 1, were selected from county winners from 42 participating counties. More than 400 photos were submitted at the county level, with the county winners advancing to the state competition. Photos depicted Arkansas scenes or subjects.

"Each year the competition gets better,” said Kerry Rodtnick, extension photographer and videographer for the Division of Agriculture, who coordinates the annual competition. “The judges had a hard time narrowing down the winners at the state level, and that's a good sign. The 4-Hers are embracing the training they are getting from the agents at the county level."

Hunter, 15, of Hot Springs, has been in 4-H for a decade and became interested in photography when she was 11.

“That is also the time I started entering my photos in the Garland County fair and Ross Photography contest,” she said. “My Nana (Annette Walters) is the one who encouraged me to pursue my passion in photography, and it is because of her that I am now a state winner.”

Hunter, who captured the winning photo with her iPhone, also won first place in the color photography of living things category.

At the state level, prizes were awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in four categories. The Best in Show was selected from the category winners: 

This year’s winners are:  

Color Living

1st - Laney Hunter, Garland County
2nd - Diego Rubio, Cleburne County
3rd - Daniel Darnell, Benton County

Black and White Living

1st - Daniel Latus, Independence County
2nd - Morgan Taylor, Yell County
3rd - Elyssa Hefley, Pope County

Black and White Non Living

1st - Emma Goad, Jackson County
2nd - Addi Gilkey, Yell County
3rd - Diego Rubio, Cleburne County

Color Non Living

1st - Colbie Huffman, Craighead County
2nd - Drake Saunders, Fulton County
3rd - Trinity Guidotti, Carroll County

Best in Show

Laney Hunter, Garland County

See Photos!

The winners received cash prizes, funded by the Arkadelphia-based Ross Foundation. The late Jane Ross and her mother, Ester Clark Ross, established the foundation, which administers a philanthropic grants program and manages more than 60,000 acres of timberland, held for conservation purposes. Jane Ross served in the Women’s Army Corps in the Army Air Force as a photographic technician. She later operated a photography studio in Arkadelphia before she assumed the responsibilities of managing the family lands. 

The statewide contest is open to 4-H members ages 9-19. Winning photographs can be viewed on the Arkansas 4-H Photography Facebook Page if you join the Facebook group.


To learn about Arkansas 4-H, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media contact:
Tracy Courage
Director, Communications Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126