In these quietly celebratory photographs, Mobley captures the "experience of hospitality and generosity" he encountered in photographing 300 farmers in 35 states, sessions which he says "revived my own sense of spirit and optimism." His subjects are farmers who work 50 acres of organic vegetables and those who keep 3,000 acres of cherry orchards; many are barely getting by and no one says they are getting rich, although he meets men doing very well with everything from avocados to alligators. Fried transcribes their stories into engaging narratives--the highlight of the book--that present a cross-section of America that is politically active, proud of its traditions but open to experimentation, and often pleased to see college-educated offspring return to the family business. Mobley falls back too often on late-afternoon, magic hour lighting that casts a glow on his images, and he does not avoid cliches: he prefers resolute, unsmiling portraits, juxtaposes weathered elders with the fresh-faced young, and a surprising number of his subjects clutch small animals to their breasts. 150 color and b&w illus. (Nov.)
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"Paul was very captivating, engaging, and charming. I can vouch that people were in line, and the line continued, and continued, and continued. We sold out of all 60 books and could have sold 100. I stood with a colleague and watched as Paul signed books, and everyone who approached him had a story to tell. Paul listened carefully to each and every one of those stories with an open mind, and an open heart, and that drew people to him. You have a star on your hands."
--Todd Foltz, Osborn and Barr, 2010 NAMA Agri-marketing Conference
"Dear Mr. Mobley: I was at Lawrence Tractor in Visalia, CA., and they gave me a copy of your American Farmer
photos. I was going to flip through it quickly and get on with my chores. I went through about 10 pages and I had chills. The photos are incredible. I've been around farmers all my life (my Grandpa and Dad were farmers) and I've always admired them and their character and their LOOK. But I've never seen them quite how you capture them. No way will I flip through that book. I will sit down and study and feel the feelings that each one of your photos produces in me. Something that can stir my insides like that is quite simply ART. You have a new admirer."
--Greg Nichols DDS, Porterville CA
"An impressive portrait covering all manner of contemporary American farming and ranching."
"A masterpiece of a book...The pictures are uncannily good, as is the narrative of spoken words from the farmers photographed. This book will get you thinking about what's left that's good about America, and what is precious about human beings."
--Clyde Edgerton, author of The Bible Salesman
"As photographer Paul Mobley shows...there is no better way to get to the heart of farm life than through portraits and stories of the farmers themselves. This collection of photographs, with text by Katrina Fried, tells the tale of farmers across the country, from cattle ranchers in Montana to citrus farmers in Florida."
"[Katrina] Fried transcribes their stories into engaging narratives - the highlight of the book - that present a cross-section of America that is politically active, proud of its traditions but open to experimentation, and often pleased to see college-educated offspring return to the family business."
--Kansas City Star
"The passion and devotion of these people are the true essence in what [Paul]Mobley's pictures express, and what the personal stories, edited by [Katrina] Fried, reinforce. The combination is breathtaking. American Farmer is a richly layered mosaic of brilliant visuals and honest text that honors the farmers and ranchers across America. Mobley's keen vision of the American farmer, and his ability to capture the spirit which each farmer embodies, will impress readers.
"The first portrait collection of modern American farmers and ranchers to be published, [American Farmer
] pairs anecdotes and memoirs in an excellent visual and artistic survey."
--Midwest Book Review
"Paul Mobley confirms my theory that the average American citizen, when they spend enough time with agriculturalists, will fall in love with them. He's their best advocate right now. Once he publishes this national photography book, more Americans will get to fall in love with farmers and ranchers...buy this book. It'll be worth every penny."
--Julie Murphree, Public Relations Director, Arizona Farm Bureau
"Paul Mobley does for American agriculture what Ansel Adams did for the American west."
--Erik L. Ness, Director of Communications and Media Relations, New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau
"Paul Mobley has captured something about the American spirit and the people who have been living and working on the land. It's a living spirit that is part of America's future. Paul's work has made the faces of America's farmers and ranchers visible to the rest of America."
--Joe Maley, Director, Texas Farm Bureau
"Paul is an outstanding photographer...and I know this book is really going to be something special...Without a doubt this will likely be the definitive book on the faces of farmers in America."
-Michael Danna, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, and host, "This Week in Louisiana Agriculture"