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Lillian Colton
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The intent of this section is to give people an overview of the different lots (categories) in the Minnesota State Fair crop art competition. All photos come from current artists submitting work to this website.

Some lots are WAY more popular than others, so if you are interested in winning a ribbon, you might want to check out the analysis of the number of entries in the 2023 competition at the end.* Also, when registering for a category, keep in mind that a piece may be eligible for more than one lot. Entries from the junior/senior citizen, out-of-state, and novice lots were not included here, as they can include almost anything.

This website is not an official State Fair site. For the official rules, go to www.mnstatefair.org/competitions/ag-hort-bee/crop-art-and-scarecrow. The Fair usually posts guidelines for the upcoming competition in the spring of each year. If you still have questions after reading the current rules on the Fair website, you can direct questions to competition@mnstatefair.org.

Natural colors lot
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Using seeds, stems, etc., in natural colors on supporting background. No paints and dyes of any kind. No irregular forms.

Editor's note: Although this is the most difficult category (all natural colors, surface completely covered), it always has the most entries. For many more examples of using natural colored seeds, check out Laura Melnick's gallery or Cathy Camper's gallery (Cathy's recent pieces have been entered in the out-of-state category, but use natural seeds and plant parts).

Laura Melnick Elizabeth Schreiber Lea Stans Nicole Hart Christy Klancher
David Steinlicht Krissy Sorensen Ann Peters Andrea Reynolds Nick Rindo

Dyed or painted lot
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Using seeds, stems, etc., in natural colors, painted, or dyed on supporting background. Paint up to 30% of area allowed. No irregular forms.

Editor's note: This description is a bit confusing, but it appears the 30% refers to uncovered background paint, as many people have dyed/painted all their seeds in this lot. Others just use the paint option sparingly to make a color not found in nature, or for background.

Wendy Brozic Gayle Deutsch Meredith Keller Suzanne Mears Ike Whiting
Kate Martin Kristen Smith Tom Rainey Stephanie McDougall Linda Paulsen

Irregular form lot
Irregular form lot 2023 State Fair rulebook description: Using seeds, stems, etc., in natural colors, painted, dyed or combinations on supporting background. Forms other than rectangular, square, round, etc.; not limited to flat surfaces. Must not be framed.

Editor's note: Can be natural or colored seeds.

Teresa Anderson Julie Blaha Sarah Jerome Lea Stans Nicole Turek
Nick Rindo Kate Martin Nicole Turek Christy Klancher Teresa Anderson

Flat surface arrangement lot
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Using dried plant materials in natural colors on supporting background. Up to 30% of background painted allowed. Any flat form.

Editor's note: This is a fairly uncrowded category, for some reason. As noted above, 30% of the background can be painted, i.e., not covered in seeds.

Linda Paulsen Jill Moe Teresa Anderson Charlotte Ferlic

Dried natural plant parts lot
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Using dried plant materials such as tree or shrub seeds, fruiting structures, bark, pods, nuts, leaves, cones and at least three kinds of field crop seeds or plant parts, and seed and fruiting structures of any horticultural crop (optional) in natural colors on supporting background. Plant materials must be from plants that are adapted to growing in Minnesota. Any form.

Editor's note: Any shape. All seeds and dried plant materials must be natural colored; no paint allowed.

Teresa Anderson Jill Moe Julie Rainey Marta Shore Kate Martin

Special Occasion
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Using materials, forms or techniques as allowed in any class listed, to depict one of the following: any national holiday (United States), anniversary (wedding, historical), birthday greeting, religious holiday or event, or any other special event (holiday, anniversary, or tradition). Caption or theme must be included. Any form; hanging or standing.

Editor's note: Very open, both in technique (can use paint/dyes, dried plant parts, any shape) and occasion (can be a well-known holiday, a little-known anniversary, or a personal milestone).

Siena Leone-Getten Julie Blaha Charlotte Ferlic Ashley LeMay Linda Paulsen
Nancy Rzeszutek Nicole Hart Marta Shore Andrea Reynolds Ann Peters

Seed and Plant Craft Objects
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Objects made of or decorated with seeds, stems, etc. natural color, painted or dyed. Examples: corn shuck dolls, caricatures, straw or stem structures, straw basket, seed chains, key chains, etc.

Editor's note: A very little used category.

Jill Moe Jill Moe Joe Klancher Christy Klancher

Wearable Crop Art
2023 State Fair rulebook description: Objects made of or decorated with seeds, stems, etc. natural color, painted or dyed. Examples: jewelry, clothing, hats, etc.

Editor's note: A fun category! It doesn't seem to be required that the object could actually be worn.

Nicole Turek Janine Joseph Marta Shore Joe Klancher Jill Moe

2023 State Fair rulebook description: Only dried plant materials of farm crops, vegetables, forest trees or shrubs allowed; in natural colors, painted, dyed or combination Exhibitor must furnish supporting suitable container (bowl, vase, dish, basket, etc.); exhibits will be shown on tables or shelves. Maximum height is 36 inches. Exhibit must be labeled either "Decorative" or "Interpretive"; with exhibit description on a small label. One decorative and one interpretive exhibit per exhibitor.

Editor's note: This is technically listed under "Crops Arrangements" instead of "Crop Art," but it is displayed in the same area and is also eligible for the Bremer Bank award. Very few entries.

Lori Brandt Anderson Lori Brandt Anderson

*Popularity of Lots
(with thanks to biostats professor and seed artist Marta Shore and the State Fair)

Total pieces submitted in 2023: 236 out of 397 registered = 59%

  • Natural colors: 44 submitted/82 registered = 54%
  • Dyed or painted: 26 submitted/45 registered = 58%
  • Irregular form: 22 submitted/33 registered= 67%
  • Flat surface: 2 submitted/5 registered = 40%
  • Natural plant parts: 11 submitted/15 registered = 73%
  • Special occasion: 22 submitted/32 registered = 69%
  • Seed and plant craft objects: 5 submitted/13 registered = 38%
  • Wearable: 10 submitted/27 registered = 37%
  • Crops arrangement: 2 submitted/10 registered = 20%

  • Natural colors: 1 submitted/3 registered = 33%
  • Dyed or painted: 4 submitted/6 registered = 67%
  • Irregular form: 3 submitted/5 registered= 60%
  • Flat surface: 1 submitted/1 registered = 100%
  • Natural plant parts: 2 submitted/2 registered = 100%
  • Special occasion: 1 submitted/2 registered = 50%
  • Seed and plant craft objects: 1 submitted/2 registered = 50%
  • Wearable: 4 submitted/4 registered = 100%
  • Crops arrangement: 0 submitted

  • Novice: 23 submitted/38 registered = 60%
  • Junior, 12 and under: 23 submitted/39 registered = 59%
  • Junior, 13-16: 7 submitted/9 registered = 78%
  • Senior citizen: 15 submitted/22 registered = 68%
  • Out of state: 6/6 = 100%

    One novice piece was submitted, but not displayed because it was disqualified due to size.
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