|◄ ► American Portraits: A Dying Breed • Patricia Kennedy-Zafred|
The use of vintage feed sacks seemed especially appropriate in this tribute to the American family farmer, which was inspired by photographs taken for the U.S. Farm Security Administration from 1935-1944. The agricultural landscape of rural America has changed dramatically since 1900, when nearly half of the U.S. population lived and worked on farms.
That number now rests at just two percent, and more than one-third of today's farmers are over the age of 65. Faced with economic hardship, long hours, and corporate competition, every week hundreds of farmers leave their land for good. The independent family farm is an essential part of our diverse American fabric, representing strength, tenacity, patience, and perseverance.
(Original images courtesy Library of Congress.)
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