A way of life is at stake.
The family ranch, for so long an emblem of the vitality and values of rural America, is threatened by numerous accelerating trends. Industrial scale agricultural practices are creating rapid consolidation and reducing diversification, consumers are three or four generations removed from farm life and powerfully influenced by marketing to seek brands, price and engineered taste. -Provenance is becoming a thing of the past. With less incentive to take on the family ranch younger people from rural areas are migrating to cities in increasing numbers and many, barely finished college, are being lured by big agribusinesses.
The existence of Angus ranches, operated by generations of families, is challenged by a world where success is measured by ratios of output to input not by the legacy created. This claim is far from sensational; over the past twenty years factory farming has dramatically reduced dairy, pork and poultry farm numbers while production has increased.
Through the lives of Angusmen I seek to highlight the long term resolve of those working tirelessly to avoid reaching the point of no return, to ensure family ranch culture doesn't slip into folklore or simply become a line of contract supply for the small number of mega feedlots and highly influential packing and retail corporations.
I am compelled to photograph what's left behind standing boldly in the face of these headwinds: families faithfully, even optimistically, stewarding the prairies and pastures driven by a passion to feed the growing population and pass this way of life from generation to generation.