By ERIC MURPHY
Two Conestoga College students placed first and second in a photography
competition for the Chicken Farmers of Ontario
organization Dec. 22.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is a farmer-run, non-profit organization representing Ontario chicken farmers.
With the support of five southern Ontario colleges, CFO launched a photography contest in September to get some great photos of the men and women who raise chickens in Ontario for their 2006 annual report.
Meghan Kreller, a third-year journalism print and broadcast student, took first place, winning the grand prize of $2,500.
" The deadline of the competition had been moved a few times because not many people entered so I thought I might have a chance to win something," said Kreller. "But to win the grand prize was a great Christmas surprise."
Contestants were assigned families to cover for the contest with a theme focused more about the families involved in chicken farming than chicken farm itself.
" I really had no idea what to expect when I arrived to take the pictures but the family I was assigned to was very excited," said Kreller. "The lady I took the photos of is a widow of nine years but was quite clear that her farm hands and the chickens themselves are her family."
Kreller believes that being at Conestoga and her photojournalism experience helped with claiming top prize.
"The teachers are great (about) telling us of opportunities like this and give us as much direction as they can," she said. "Taking photos for Spoke for the last two years helped a lot too."
Kreller doesn’t have any exciting plans for her winnings except for paying off her debts.
"My boyfriend wanted to go on a trip somewhere hot," she said. "But after Christmas and three years of college I need to pay some bills."
Three winners were announced, as well as three honourable mentions. Conestoga had three students place in the top six.
" We're just good," Kreller said. "It says a lot for Conestoga and the journalism program."
Annelise Thompson, a second-year journalism print and broadcast student, claimed the $1,000 second place prize in the competition.
"It was a shot in the dark that I would win," she said. "But I've been taking photos since I was three with my pink little Barbie camera plus the photography course here is pretty intense."
Annelise expects that all of her newly earned money will go back into school and living expenses.
"It was a very pleasant surprise but it'll be gone like that," she said.
Eric Murphy, a third-year journalism print and broadcast student received an honourable mention.