Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saving the farm...

Black Farmers 
"You lose nothing when fighting for a cause ... In my mind the losers are those who don't have a cause they care about." ~ Muhammad Ali

In 1985, the year that Willie Nelson held his first Farm Aid concert, Oscar Lorick, center, then 66, a South Georgia farmer was on the verge of losing his farm, one that had been in his family since 1866. Lorick garnered the attention of the national media by vowing to protect his farm from the bank. He succeeded.

In just a few short years, beginning in the early 80's, there was a $300 billion decline in farm asset values. High inflation, coupled with several dry seasons, had put farmers in dire straights. Several bankers, one in Iowa, two in Minnesota were murdered by farmers. Many of you may remember seeing farmers and tractors converging on the White House and state capitol buildings around the country. It was a tumultuous time. Some farmers lost all they had. Some survived. Oscar was one of them.

I have not been back to the area where I shot these photos, but I hope Lorick's family is still plowing, planting, and harvesting, and feeding the people of America.

 "As long as there's a few farmers out there, we'll keep fighting for them." ~ Willie Nelson 

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