MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — Governor Doug Burgum invited the winners of this year’s photo contest to a presentation in the Morton Mandan Public Library on October 17.

The Governor’s Photo Contest was first held in 2004, and since then, it’s worked to encourage photographers throughout North Dakota and capture everything good that our state has to offer.

“Today we celebrate these talented photographers who captured the essence of what makes North Dakota a great place to visit, live, work and raise a family,” said Burgum in a press release. “They do a fantastic job of highlighting the wide-open spaces, world-class outdoor adventures, and diverse opportunities available in our communities.” 

Governor Burgum addresses the winners of the photo contest at the Morton Mandan Public Library.

This year’s contest had a total of 471 entries from 79 different photographers (a limit of ten photos for each individual was set). In total, since its inception, the contest has amassed a total of over 17,600 photos.

The winners of the 2022 competition were formally announced at a meeting on Monday at the Morton Mandan Public Library, where Governor Burgum distributed prizes and shook hands with the winners and runner-ups of every category.

Unfortunately, the truck carrying full displays of the photographs reportedly needed a change of tires, and as such, we were unable to show the pictures in their full glory. Nevertheless, here is a list of the winners and runner-ups from this year’s categories.

Festivals and Events

Category Winner: “Long Live Cowgirls”, by Angie Waletzko, Libson

Honorable Mention: “Oakes Parade”, by Jacob Just, Bismarck


Category Winner: “Date Night” by Joleyn Larson, Mandan

Honorable Mentions:

“On the Edge” by Joleyn Larson, Mandan

“Sunset Rider” by Savannah Joy, Hazen

“Family Ice Fishing Fun”, by Laura Gardner, Washburn

Road Trips

Category Winner: “Living the Dream” by Laura Gardner, Washburn

Honorable Mention: “Cool Waters” by Mary Lizakowski, Minto


Category Winner: “Ice on the Rocks” by Laura Gardner, Washburn

Honorable Mentions:

“Blooming Sunflowers at Sunset” by Carmel Meier, Fargo

“Aurora Midnight Train” by Suanne Kallis, Carrington

“Hiking to the Sheyenne River Valley”, by Roxanne Westman, Mapleton

Vibrant Communities

Category Winner: “The Great Race Ends In Fargo” by Roxanne Westman, Mapleton

Honorable Mention: “Under the Twilight Sky” by Dan Francis, Fargo


Category Winner: “Catch of the Day” by Lisa Buchweitz, Langdon

Honorable Mentions:

“I Have My Eye on You” by Jeremy Witte, Dickinson

“Sunrise Pintails” by Greg Kolden, Bismarck

A separate honorable mention was awarded to a talented young photographer under the age of 18: Grey Ulrickson, a 12-year-old Minot boy, was also recognized at the event for his own photo, entitled “Peekaboo”.

Best In Show 2022

Category Winner: “Ice on the Rocks” by Laura Gardner, Washburn

Laura Gardner explains the origins of her photo to Governor Burgum.

The winning photographs will be used in magazines and promotional work by the North Dakota Tourism Department, and will also be displayed in the Morton Mandan Public Library.

Governor Burgum and all of the photo competition winners pose for a picture.

For a complete list of descriptions and winners. as well as a more focused gallery, visit the Photo Contest’s website.