Ballymena journalist Chris McCullough has won an international photo competition and has just received his award in a special ceremony in Germany.
The photo of a cow high up in the Austrian Alps has earned the journalist a lot of recognition across the world as it was up to viewers of the photo to vote for it online.
Chris received the award for best photo in the IFAJ/DeLaval People’s Choice category at the annual gathering of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) which this year was in Bonn in Germany.
Speaking from Germany Chris said: “Being an agricultural journalist and travelling the world for stories and photos is a thrilling occupation but when my work is complemented by others it really does make it all worthwhile.
“I have just been awarded the IFAJ/DeLaval People’s Choice award for a photo of a Fleckvieh cow I took way up high in the Austrian Alps.
“The photo was actually taken during a visit to Austria in September 2015 when I was reporting from a number of dairy farms who produced what is known as ‘hay milk.’
“This means the cows graze high up in the meadows for the summer period and are only fed hay and some concentrates in the winter. The cows never receive silage and the result is a high quality milk attracting top premiums.
“While I was on the farm I decided to walk among the small herd of 17 cows which were grazing well above the ski lifts in their pastures.
“One of the cows presented me with a great opportunity to take its photo and this one ended up winning the award presented to me at the annual IFAJ congress, which this year was held in Bonn, Germany.
“The award was sponsored by DeLaval and was presented before a big crowd of journalist colleagues and agriculture industry reps from Germany.
“Of course, I am very pleased to receive the award and to have my work recognised in this manner.
“Now I need to take an even better photo for next year’s IFAJ congress which will be held in South Africa.
“I wish to thank all of the people from all corners of the world who voted for this particular photo to make it the People’s Choice,” he said.