I grew up on a small farm in Schoharie County, which encompasses the northern Catskill Mountains. We initially lived on our 30 acre farm on the top of a mountain but later moved into the valley to expand our growing operation. My Father grew up on a farm and my Mother received degrees in Horse Husbandry and Animal Science; farming is simply what my family has done for many years, and in that time our farming principles have remained the same. These principals have always revolved around the general principle that you aught treat your animals well. You give them what they need and keep them healthy as possible even if it requires a little extra work. For example, when you know that the digestive system of a cow is naturally designed for the consumption of grasses and not grain, it seemed logical to my parents that they should to be strictly grass fed. Another example is that chickens who are out roaming pastures eating grass and bugs are healthier and their eggs are also three times higher in Omega 3’s. Feeding your animals what their bodies are designed to take in benefits not only the animal but also the consumer.
The area that I grew up in is just in rich as history as it is beautiful. A few hundred years ago it was nicknamed ‘The Breadbasket of the Revolution’ because of its involvement in early America. Schoharie County was not only the location of Revolutionary War battles but its farmers also played a vital role in feeding General Washington’s troops. This series is not simply about farmers treating their plants and livestock well. It is also my attempt to show the relationship between the small farmer and their product. Unless you grew up on or spent your summers working on a farm, few people know the amount of time and sweat that goes into it.
Farmers are stewards of the land. Farming have always been a crucial part of our country’s foundation. Directly or indirectly farming is part of our lives. It is my intention that these portraits will show viewers the intimate, hands on relationship farmers have with what they produce. Hopefully, this project will encourage people less familiar with the labor of love that is farming to help the little-guy, the local farmer. In doing so, they will not only help themselves but locally community as well, a community that is a part of who I am and I hold so deeply in my heart.