This summer, a Montana photographer won an international photography competition with a stunning photograph that might just be the most American thing you see all summer. The photograph perfectly captures the stunning beauty of large Montana ranches and recalls a simpler period of American history.
Agricultural production occurs in all 50 states and has been a part of this great country since its founding. Owning ag land in the U.S. can be a wonderful investment too, as the combined agricultural real estate value in this country amounts to approximately $2 trillion. And when you work in agriculture real estate, it can be easy to become desensitized to the raw beauty of America’s farmlands. Almost.
According to KBZK, Todd Klassy, of Harve, Montana, won the top prize this month in an international photography contest. Klassy was awarded the Star Prize for Agriculture Photography thanks to his pictures of large Montana ranches. The competition has been held every year for more than two decades, and the last time a photographer from the U.S. took home first place was in 2004.
“I am elated. I couldn’t be happier,” Klassy said. “When you make a career for yourself as a farm and ranch photographer this is a pinnacle of achievement. I couldn’t be more honored.”
The awarded was given by the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ), which recognizes overall excellence in agro photography from all over the world.
Despite being the victor, Klassy had no idea that he had won anything until the day of the ceremony. A ceremony — held in Bonn, Germany — that he did not even attend.
“They invited me to attend but didn’t tell me I had won anything,” said Klassy. “My little brother got married this weekend in California so I just couldn’t make it.”
Klassy received a strange text from Germany during the ceremony and finally figured out what he had won.
Over the last few months, Klassy’s award-winning photo has been published by major publications including National Geographic and Western Horseman. The mountainous large Montana ranches where Klassy shoots includes some of the most beautiful pieces of agricultural property in existence, as the judges of the competition realized.
While agriculture photography might sound like a small niche, the growing market for farm real estate, including Montana cattle ranches for sale, creates plenty of work for photographers. Whether you’re looking to photograph large Montana ranches, settle down on California farmland, or invest in cattle ranches in Texas (which is the number one state in terms of ag real estate value), there are plenty of properties out there for you to discover.