The Rosni Farm

the photography of

Bill Emory

Bill Emory's home page.

All the photographs and texts are copyrighted

Rosni Farm had been in operation 174 years when I was hired in 1975. I was a general laborer at this dairy farm. I knew nothing about farming, I knew even less about cows. I was tolerated because I followed directions.

My job was to shovel shit, drive a tractor, apply pesticide and pick up bales of hay. My job was to do as I was told.

My camera was not a "farm approved" tool but I carried it with me whenever possible. I carried the camera until it became familiar, close to invisible to my coworkers. I used it sparingly.

There are pictures I failed to take. I wasn't thinking of myself as a photo-journalist, I wasn't conscious of my role as chronicler. I was just snapping with a Nikkormat as work allowed.

I had no way of knowing that this venerable farm was dying. That eight score and 14 years of oral and physical history were fixing to fall to rising oil prices, US farm policy, entropy and Johnson grass.

Some remarks about doing photography.

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