BEEF Daily

Vote For Your Favorite Ranch Sweetheart Photo Finalist


Today is Memorial Day. It's also the day we name our top 15 finalists in the BEEF Daily Ranch Sweetheart Photo Contest. Vote for your favorite today.

I hope you are all having a great Memorial Day and that you were able to spend the long weekend with friends and family. But, let’s not forget the primary reason for this day. Today, we salute the men and women who have served this country to protect our freedoms.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that is celebrated the last Monday of May. It was initiated as Decoration Day, a day when the fallen of both the Union and Confederacy in the Civil War were honored. reports that Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30 of that year, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

"The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war."

One of the most touching of remembrances to our fallen heroes is "Flanders Field," written by John McCrae in 1915.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Named a three-day federal holiday in 1971, Memorial Day is now considered the kickoff to the summer vacation season. In that spirit, I want to announce the 15 finalists in the BEEF Daily Ranch Sweethearts Photo Contest.

Congratulations to our 15 finalists:

“Grandma Dvonne” by Emily Hansen

“The Proposal” by Leann Botkin

“Strength Is Beauty” by Marty Stingley

“Don and Jessie” by Sarah Anderson

“Rose And Her Herd Bull” by Rita McPhee

“Grace” by Melinda Baker

“Ella and Emri” by Kyle Mayden

“Kameryn’s Heifers” by Brian Stoltze

“Hugs” by Kaye Hansen

“Addyson” by Alyssa Williams

“Hudson” by Leslie Hamilton

“Pup” by Calli Pritchard

“Quincie” by Hayes Martens

“Quentin” by Shelby Shaw

“Morning Sort” by Rachel and Nikki Darnall

We need help selecting our two champions, so click here to vote. Voting will be open until May 31, and our winners will be announced on June 3. The champion photographer will win a certificate redeemable for a pair of Roper boots, and the reserve champion photographer will win a $75 gift certificate to Cowgirl Crush. To thank you for your help in selecting our winners, three voters will also receive a copy of my children’s book, “Levi’s Lost Calf.” 

Which photo is your favorite? Leave me a note in the comments section below or vote in the gallery. Thanks for your participation. You can view the complete gallery or reader-submitted photographs here. 


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Discuss this Blog Entry 9

Robyn (not verified)
on May 27, 2013

“Grandma Dvonne” by Emily Hansen has my vote!

ncoleman (not verified)
on May 27, 2013

Don and Jessie. That sums it up. Love, strength, courage, patience, love of the land and herd. Great picture

Scott (not verified)
on May 27, 2013

Grace has my vote!

Sara (not verified)
on May 27, 2013

Grace by Melinda Baker

Kourtney (not verified)
on May 28, 2013

Grandma Dvonne!

on May 28, 2013

The Proposal by Leann Botkin

Michael M (not verified)
on May 31, 2013

Strength is Beauty

Marty Stingley (not verified)
on May 31, 2013

If my vote counts, I vote for my own submission, Strength is Beauty .. and I will tell you why .. I have been a young mother and now a grandmother, and more often than not, we are referred to as the "glue" to which the family binds. Combining her own jobs to extend her arms for a small child, the ears for older and a heart for all. This photograph represents that to me, as this young mother just climbed off a horse in a branding pen, only to embrace her waiting child...

Morgan Farrell (not verified)
on May 31, 2013

Strength is Beauty!

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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