Springtime Kids

Bethany and her kid

Nothing says Springtime fun like kids playing with kids.

Shawn shot these images today just outside his photo studio on the family’s hobby farm near Rogers, MN. His youngest, Bethany, enjoys a friendly nibble from a recent arrival to the farm’s goat herd.

Shawn’s wife, Cristine – the goat operation manager, reports 10 goat kids on the ground, and another 10+ expected in the next few days, with 5 more does left to kid.

I think every kid (of the human variety) should have an opportunity to experience the joy of a Springtime farm baby… whether it’s a kid, lamb or calf. So take a kid you know out to the farm this Spring.


Corn Harvest – A view from the AgriLife Back Porch

(c) AgriLife Studios Nov. 2009. Corn harvest, Rogers, MN.

It’s great to see the combines rolling. I love this time of year in Minnesota.

I bet the farmers are glad to finally get rolling too. It’s been a tough harvest… a great crop, but not enough good weather to bring it in. The corn moisture is high, so they’ll be spending a lot of money on gas bills to run the grain dryers. More challenging times ahead.

But when the combines are rolling, and heavy grain trucks are running down the county roads, it somehow gives me a sense that all is right with the world.

Shawn shot these images of this Case tractor and 2577 Combine as they worked a small 80-acre field south of his place near Rogers, Minn. You could literally look out the back door of the studio and see them rolling by, close enough to see the corn stalks flying out the back.

What are your thoughts about the harvest season? What do you see out your window?

Reporting from our front-row seat on the Back Porch,

~ Scott Whitman, AgriLife Studios


On Beef Safari in Texas

Scott on Beef Safari (Photo by Shawn)
Scott on Beef Safari (Photo by Shawn) (c) AgriLife Studios 2009

Last Saturday morning, Shawn and I were watching the sun rise over a sea of cattle in a Texas feed yard as the cowboys made their first ride through the pens checking the health of their bovine charges. I really do love my work.

We’ve been wanting to make this trip for some time. A client photo shoot the previous day near Amarillo finally gave us the opportunity to do some shooting in beef country for the AgriLife stock library, and we had four hours before our outbound flight left for Dallas  – plenty of time for a beef country photo safari.

Getting access to one of these operations, especially for a couple of out-of-towners from Up Nort’, is no easy task. We received a recommendation from a colleague in the Texas Cattle Raisers Association, who introduced us to the great folks at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, who gave us a huge assist and located an independent custom feeder who was willing to give us the run of their place. We send out a huge “thanks!” to that very gracious and trusting operator. The folks at the TCFA were willing to give us a green light, based strictly on reputation, and we owe them a big thanks as well.

Check out these photos from our trip to the Texas panhandle, and shoot us a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Ridin’ for the Brand,


Copyright Notice:

All images posted to this blog are the property of AgriLife Studios. Please respect intellectual property rights. You may use these images only with express written permission from AgriLife Studios. Thank you.

Farmscapes at Sunset

There are times when the light is magical. On a recent trip to Galena, Illinois, for a client photo shoot Shawn and I happened to find ourselves outside Dubuque, Iowa — near the Swiss Valley, specifically — just at that magical hour before sunset. We quickly began running the back roads of the farm country, criss-crossing lanes and fields, looking for farmscapes. The scenery was beautiful. The farms iconic, almost majestic in the fading orange light. The darkening sky finally drew a curtain on the show, and I thought there was nowhere else in the world I would rather be at that moment.


The connection between man and animal is primal, and almost poetic. When it works well, the relationship ennobles both parties. When an image captures this unique relationship I think it speaks to the deepest places of what makes us human. Maybe that’s a little too philosophical, but those of you who like to hang out in horse arenas and cattle pens know what I mean.


Welcome to the AgriLife Image Blog

This is the first official post on “the AgriLife Image” — a weblog dedicated to exploring the rural and agrinomic lyfestyle through art and imagery.

The authors are (primarily) Scott Whitman and (occasionally) Shawn Nielsen – friends and co-owners in AgriLife Studios. We supply campaign-ready stock images and custom assignment photography and video services for the agribusiness marketplace.

We want to offer a forum for ideas about art and imagery in agriculture. We’ll offer our own ideas (What’s the Beef), provide guest commentary from industry experts (Guest Hot Shots) and share new images from our stable of talented photographers and videographers (Prime Cuts) for your review and commentary.

Join the conversation. We hope to hear from you soon!

~ Scott