Hudson Valley, New York based photographer Richard Beaven shares photos of his project “Flock”, which explores the network surrounding a farm in Columbia County, NY.
“Flock” is an exploration of the network surrounding a single farm in Columbia County, New York.
The structure of agriculture is undergoing profound transformation. Twenty two million American workers produce, process, sell and trade the nation’s produce however only one fifth live on farms.
In the nineteenth century more than 70% of the US population was directly employed in the sector. Now it is less than 3%. Job forecasts show moderate decline over the next ten years. Nine out of ten farms are family owned and operated. As happy a picture that this paints it masks the reality that younger people are drifting from farm lives into cities to find jobs in newer economies and older farmers are selling land to make ends meet.
To feed an expanding population yields continue to increase with the help of science and allied industries are consolidating in search of efficiencies. Traditions are giving way to new approaches. Farms are employing less fixed personnel directly but draw on a wider range of the community. Local food movements, young farmers, activist groups, ‘foodies’, agritourism, volunteers and community members are reigniting opportunities for farming. This partly in response to the rise of “Big Ag’” and a growing need to connect with our sources of food.
‘Flock’ includes more than sixty portraits. Each person is shown out of context, against a neutral background, asking that the viewer imagine the role each subject plays in the extensive network of involvement.
See more photos on Richard’s website.