The Vanishing Culture of Agriculture is a long-term work-in-progress that focuses on family farmers, small farms, and rural communities. As our nation’s yeoman farmers and agrarian traditions face increasing pressure from development, agribusiness, and the economies of farming, what gets lost are the historical links between land, community, and culture. My interest has been in exploring those links.
Like many photographers of my generation, I was deeply influenced by the work of the Farm Security Administration photographers who documented rural America during the height of the Great Depression. Their ranks included some of our country’s most notable photographers and the collection is widely considered among the most important in our nation’s archives.
My own work with non-profit organizations and philanthropic foundations, especially the Rural Advancement Fund, has provided me the opportunity to work in similar places, photographing people and issues that seemingly are not much changed from those earlier times.