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Entry Form/Rules

The Vernon County Land & Water Conservation Department is holding a Conservation Photo Contest.  This contest is open to amateur photographers who are residents of the United States.  Pictures must be taken in Vernon County.  Participants can enter as many as five photos total each year.  Each photo has to fit in one of the four natural resource or conservation photo categories listed below. 

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah McDowell at 608-637-5484 or by email to

Photo Categories

Before taking your photos or submitting them for the contest, please review the detailed explanation of the photo categories.  Judges reserve the right to determine if a photograph is appropriately categorized and change a photographer’s category accordingly.

1. Conservation Practices
2. Close Up Conservation
3. Conservation in Action
4. Agriculture and Conservation Across America

You can find examples of ideas for each category at

The top three winners will be selected for each category and age division.  Persons age 19 and over as of December 1, 2023 will compete in the adult age division.  Persons age 18 or younger will compete in the youth age division.  Each winner will receive a small prize and will have the opportunity to compete in the National Photo Contest set up by the National Association of Conservation Districts, for a chance to win cash prizes. 

Entry Instructions

1. Complete and Submit Photo Contest Entry Form one for each photographer.
2. Complete and Submit NACD Model/Subject Release Form one for each photograph that has recognizable subjects in the photo.
3. Form Submissions by mail: Completed Entry Form and Model Release Forms can be submitted by mail or dropped off to Vernon LWCD, 220 Airport Rd., Viroqua, WI 54665.  Please note, photos MUST be submitted electronically, even if you submit form(s) by mail.
4. Submit electronic photo files via email to make sure to include what category you are entering the photo in and your name and age.

Entry Guidelines

The deadline to enter the 2023 Photo Contest is November 1, 2023.  All entry forms must be postmarked by November 1, 2023.  Participants can enter as many as five photos total each year.  Only amateur photographers are eligible to compete.  An amateur photographer is one whose majority of income does not come from photography.

In order to be eligible for the contest, entries must follow the guidelines below:

1. Multiple Submissions

If you intend to enter more than one photo (maximum of five photos per participant), you must complete a separate model release form for each photo, you only need one entry form as long as it is clear what photos it is for.

2. Photo Format

Photos must be submitted in electronic format (jpeg or tiff files only) to Please specify what Category you are entering the photo in and your name and age in the email. 

3. Digital Enhancement

Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters and corrective functions are permitted, but images that have been judged to be altered in any significant manner will be disqualified.  Contestants are not permitted to place borders, frames or backgrounds around their images or to place watermarks, dates, signatures or copyright images onto photos.

4. Photo Rights

All entries can be used by Vernon County Land & Water Conservation Department in publications or for promotional purposes. 

Required Forms

Completed signed forms must be received for entry to be eligible for contest.
1. Entry Form: 2023 Photo Contest Entry Form-one per person-please be specific as to which photos it covers.
2. Model/Subject Release Form: one per photo. Photographers that include recognizable people must include a signed Model Release form before the photograph will be accepted into the photo contest.  A parent or guardian must consent for people under 18 years old. 

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. 

For complete details about the National Photo Contest go to