Homestead sessions, a documentation of the hard working families that spend a lifetime, generation after generation, working the land and withstanding the test of time. Waking up every morning, walking out to open that same barn door they’ve walked though thousands of times, and doing more than a job, but something that they truly love. I ventured into photographing homesteads initially because of the increasing number of small family farms that have been lost and sold in recent years…It’s been a way for many families to have a tangible item that they can pair with the countless years of memories. And a way to stop time, to preserve a piece of their history, and to share with their future generations.
However, in this instance the Ainsworth homestead is doing quiet the opposite, expanding! Changing with the times. After 4 generations of milking in this barn, today was the final day. Tomorrow morning they will be moving the cows to their new home, a state of the art free-stall barn with robotic milkers. These photos don’t mark the end of a legacy, but do mark the end of an era. In 50-100 years the future generations will have something to look back on, to see where they came from, and appreciate where these hard working men have brought them.
Winter Homestead Session
March 10th, 2018
Let’s take a walk…a walk through time, through the legacy of a Wisconsin dairy farming family. A walk, that after three generations of back breaking work, passion, and perseverance has come to an end…
Here we are, just days before the auction. When I saw the flyer for Mark and Kathy’s farm sale I felt compelled to reach out to them. Small family farms, such as theirs, hold so much history. History that can only be preserved through memories, stories and photographs. Although I do not come from a farming family, I come from a community that values agriculture, and that has instilled an immense respect in me for the families that work countless hours, 7 days a week to support, feed and fuel our country. My hope was that by documenting the farm while it was still in operation would make this transition a little easier, knowing they have something they can physically look back on, cherish and share with future generations.
Friday was the last day…The last day he will rise before sun up to walk through that old milk house door, into the 110 year old barn that was home to a herd of 80. The auction has now come and gone. The equipment will run again in new fields. The herd has found new homes. And the legacy of the Kroenke family will forever have a lasting impact on the agricultural community and we thank them greatly for that.
It has been said “all good things must come to an end.” I don’t know that a farmer is ever really ready for that time. It’s in his blood. It’s what he knows. It’s what he enjoys. But if there were ever a time to retire, it was now. I wish Mark and Kathy the best in this next chapter of their life. May they continue to be blessed with good health and new adventures be on their horizon. God Bless!