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Guide to the Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families photographs, 2008

Abstract

The Center for Documentary Studies is a center at Duke University established for the study of the documentary process. Five Farms was a documentary and oral history project carried out by five U.S. photographers in 2008.

The twenty-five photographic prints in the Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families collection form part of an oral history and photography project carried out under the auspices of the Center for Documentary Studies in 2008. Beginning in March 2008, photographers Alix Lowrey Blair, Andrew Lewis, Tom Rankin, Elena Rue, and Steve Schapiro, along with oral historians, each visited an American farm to document the farm families' experiences and stories over the course of a year. The prints in this collection reflect the photographers' work. The locations for the Five Farms series include: a dairy farm in western Massachusetts, a diversified farm in central Iowa, a hog farm in eastern North Carolina, an organic farm in California's Capay Valley, and a family farm on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The images portray farmers and family members, farm workers, farm animals, and landscapes. Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Duke University. Center for Documentary Studies.
Title
Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families photographs 2008
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.5 Linear Feet, 25 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The twenty-five photographic prints in the Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families collection form part of an oral history and photography project carried out under the auspices of the Center for Documentary Studies in 2008. Beginning in March 2008, photographers Alix Lowrey Blair, Andrew Lewis, Tom Rankin, Elena Rue, and Steve Schapiro, along with oral historians, each visited an American farm to document the farm families' experiences and stories over the course of a year. The prints in this collection reflect the photographers' work. The locations for the Five Farms series include: a dairy farm in western Massachusetts, a diversified farm in central Iowa, a hog farm in eastern North Carolina, an organic farm in California's Capay Valley, and a family farm on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The images portray farmers and family members, farm workers, farm animals, and landscapes.

The 25 13x16" color prints, five for each photographer, are listed in groups by the geographical locations. The photographer's name and the caption are handwritten on the back of each print.

In addition to the photographs, there are also oral histories that are held by the Center for Documentary Studies. The Five Farms project culminated in an exhibit from April 27-August 21, 2009 at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies; other outreach included a multimedia website and programs on public radio stations nationwide.

Acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. However, materials can only be used for educational, non-commercial purposes. Individual photographers retain all copyrights.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Contains the work of five photographers whose images explore the unique environment, context, and people associated with five small family farms in Arizona, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Arranged by state, each body of work consists of one set of five 13x16" color digital prints printed on Epson Professional paper, for a total of 25 prints. Captions supplied by photographers; descriptive narratives supplied by Center for Documentary Studies exhibit staff.

Photographs by Andrew Lewis. The Pecusa family is Hopi and Pima from the village of Bacavi on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. Their immediate family has been farming in the area for at least four generations. Before them, ancestral people farmed their land intermittently for nearly a thousand years. The Pecusa family farms in a largely traditional manner, using little farm machinery and employing ancient dry land farming practices that allow them to grow corn in an arid environment that receives only eight to twelve inches of rain per year.

When not farming, Davis Pecusa also serves on the Hopi Tribal Council. The Hopi Tribe recognized Davis recently as "Farmer of the Year." His son, David, has studied under him for as long as he can remember and recently has begun to study western organic and permaculture farming practices. He also has a strong interest in the growing and preservation of heirloom native seeds from the Southwest. David will soon be leaving his job as kitchen manager at Hotevilla Bacavi Day School so that he can pursue his farming interest full-time. His dream is to teach and introduce younger generations to farming and sustainable living practices.

Blue corn drying on a flat bed outside the Pecusa home, village of Bacavi, Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Box 1 Image 1
Lima beans planted by hand by David Pecusa, Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Box 1 Image 2
David Pecusa picking Hopi string beans in his field, Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Box 1 Image 3
The Pecusas' cornfield, Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Box 1 Image 4
Alma Pecusa husking corn outside the family home, village of Bacavi, Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Box 1 Image 5

Photographs by Alix Lowrey Blair. Jeff and Annie Main own Good Humus Produce, which they run with their three children, Zachary, Alison, and Claire, and a small crew of employees. The Mains started their twenty-acre, certified organic farm in 1976, shortly after their graduation from the University of California at Davis. On their farm, located in the rural hills of Hungry Hollow, near Capay, California (about an hour northwest of Sacramento), they grow about sixty different fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs and flowers. They deliver to farmers' markets, to area subscribers through a program known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and to wholesalers in the Bay Area.

Peach trees in bloom, Main family farm, Good Humus Produce, Capay, California
Box 1 Image 6
Francisco Montes on a ladder harvesting apricots, Main family farm, Good Humus Produce, Capay, California
Box 1 Image 7
Employee Cuca Miranda and Annie Main preparing fruit baskets for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members, Main family farm, Good Humus Produce, Capay, California
Box 1 Image 8
Jeff Main repairing cultivator, Main family farm, Good Humus Produce, Capay, California
Box 1 Image 9
Apricots drying in the sun, Main family farm, Good Humus Produce, Capay, California
Box 1 Image 10

Photographs by Elena Rue. Craig and LaVon Griffieon operate a diversified, 1,100-acre farm with beef, chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, and horses in Ankeny, Iowa, north of Des Moines. Their farm has been in the Griffieon family since 1868. Craig and Lavon raise corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa. Their Limousin beef herd comes from stock that has been on their farm since 1960. Their children-Autumn, Nick, Phillip, and Julia-are the sixth Griffieon generation to farm there. The Griffieon children are active in all phases of the farm, and have themselves raised pastured poultry for ten years.

LaVon Griffieon and her youngest child, Julia, Griffieon family farm, Ankeny, Iowa
Box 1 Image 11
Craig Griffieon on the phone at planting time, Griffieon family farm, Ankeny, Iowa
Box 1 Image 12
Autumn Ogden, eldest child of Craig and LaVon Griffieon, in the chicken house, Griffieon family farm, Ankeny, Iowa
Box 1 Image 13
Craig Griffieon pouring ground corn feed for beef cattle, Griffieon family farm, Ankeny, Iowa
Box 1 Image 14
Craig Griffieon inspects his freshly harvested corn as it's transferred from a truck to a drying bin, Griffieon family farm, Ankeny, Iowa
Box 1 Image 15

Photographs by Steve Schapiro. The Hager Brothers Farm is set on more than 700 acres of rugged, hilly terrain in Colrain, Massachusetts. Chip and Sherry Hager run the farm, along with daughter Kim and son-in-law Aaron, and another son, Todd. Both Kim and Aaron - college graduates with degrees in agriculture - bring to their passion for farming a new understanding of the science of dairy herd management. The family continually merges traditional and innovative approaches to dairy farming.

Holsteins walking back to the barn after giving milk; tires holding down a tarpaulin over a pile of corn silage, Hager Brothers Farm, Colrain, Massachusetts
Box 1 Image 16
Sherry and Chip Hager boiling down maple sap to syrup, Hager Brothers Farm, Colrain, Massachusetts
Box 1 Image 17
Todd Hager, the younger son and one of four children of Chip and Sherry Hager, with his daughter, Julia, Hager Brothers Farm, Colrain, Massachusetts
Box 1 Image 18
Sherry Hager in the pasture, Hager Brothers Farm, Colrain, Massachusetts
Box 1 Image 19
Driveway, Hager Brothers Farm, Colrain, Massachusetts
Box 1 Image 20

Photographs by Tom Rankin. Eddie and Dorothy Wise raise hogs on 106 acres near Whitakers, in east-central North Carolina. Eddie is a fourth-generation hog farmer but the first to own a farm; his father and grandfather were sharecroppers. During a career in the military, and as an ROTC instructor at Howard and Georgetown Universities, Eddie raised hogs in his spare time. It was his dream to return home to North Carolina and farm full-time. When he retired from the Army in 1991 at the age of forty-eight, that's what he set out to do. Dorothy Wise grew up in Washington, D.C., but she too hoped to one day live on a farm. When she and Eddie met at Howard University in the 1980s and she discovered he was a farmer, it seemed that her wish had come true.

Hogs feeding on concrete floor, Wise family farm, Whitakers, North Carolina
Box 1 Image 21
Eddie Wise in one of his hog houses, Wise family farm, Whitakers, North Carolina
Box 1 Image 22
Doors on a hog house, Wise family farm, Whitakers, North Carolina
Box 1 Image 23
Kill room, Roversonville Packing Company, Robersonville, North Carolina
Box 1 Image 24
The Wises' dogs, Jed, Spot, and Runt, napping, Wise family farm, Whitakers, North Carolina
Box 1 Image 25

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Warren, February 2013

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Matthew Warren, February 2013

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2012-0089

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.