Till the Cows Come Home: County Fair Portraits Overview: At county fairs across America, family-based farming is struggling to retain its relevancy in rural communities and hold on to a disappearing cultural lifestyle. My objective is to capture the essence of this lifestyle through portraits of those who participate at these annual agricultural events, many of which have been part of the American way of life for more than 160 years. Scope: My work examines the divergent range of life, activities and obsessions at county fairs. At the heart of the project are the stories of the participants. In one short week, their yearlong commitment culminates in an exhaustive and explosive outlet of self-expression. Weariness, elation, humility, humor, camaraderie, pride, and disappointment are lashed together as keenly as an oxen team. As family farms disappear at the rate of hundreds per month, what remains of the underlying value system struggles to survive in the community. My portraits are intended to reflect the passions and ethos of this disappearing society.
Publisher: Kerer Verlag