Capturing the Architecture of American Agriculture—and a Passing Way of Life

For 45 Years, David Hanks Has Photographed Feed Mills in Every Season and Mood

“Why would anyone want to take pictures of a place like this?”

That’s the question I often get when I enter the office of a feed mill or grain elevator, asking permission to make photographs on the property or inside the buildings.

Showing other photos that I’ve taken usually satisfies the operator that I’m not working for the local tax assessor or real estate agent, and I receive permission to proceed.

But it’s a good question: Why do I keep up with this activity? What is the motivation? There is no coherent …

Miniature America

Can you decipher it—that faint
creaking rising up from
the farm’s patchwork of yellow
and umber, crops and loam?

Could be the steady pressure and
release of mattress springs.
Could be …

A Eulogy for a Delano Farmworker

For 50 Years, Esteban Nuño Took Great Pride in Helping to Harvest the Food That Fed Our Nation

When they lowered the coffin into the ground, it wasn’t yet 11 a.m., but already the hot sun had forced many mourners to seek refuge. Some stood in the shade …

Searching for Silence in the Midwest

The southern Minnesota farmhouse, my childhood home, hides inelegantly behind a spotty row of evergreens. The trees stand bravely in the wind, the house’s only defense from winter’s bitter gusts. …