Farm Women Photos on Display in Fairfield through April 15

Join the Women’s Agricultural Network and Vermont Farm Women’s Fund at the opening reception of an exhibit of Peter Miller’s Vermont Farm Women photographs on Saturday, March 12 from 11-1 at the Basement Gallery at the Fairfield Municipal Building.

These beautiful black and white photographs are a tribute both to Vermont’s agrarian heritage and to the Vermont farm women who are working to make our future farm and food system sustainable.

Vermont has been a leader in the nationwide trend of increasing number of women farm operators. Of the 3.3 million U.S. farm operators counted in 2007 Census, 30.2 percent — or more than 1 million — were women. Women are running more farms and ranches, operating more land, and producing a greater value of agricultural products than they were five years ago.

Here in Vermont, half of the state’s 6984 farms have at least one woman operator. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of female principal farm operators in Vermont increased by 50 percent from 967 to 1466.

The Vermont Farm Women exhibit consists of black and white photographs of dairy, sheep, goat, emu, horse, chicken, and Christmas trees farmers, vegetable and flower gardeners, loggers, sawyers, and matriarchs. The exhibit is only a portion of the 44 farm women Peter Miller interviewed and photographed for the 2002 publication of his book by the same name, Vermont Farm Women. Gert Lepine notes these women “…are inspiring; their courage is admirable. Furthermore, their role in the future of Vermont agriculture, and their roles as models for the rest of the country in creating small, community-based farms, is of utmost importance. Vermont is nurturing another revolution.”

Peter Miller will be on hand at the opening on March 12 to talk about his work. Born in New York City, Peter moved to Vermont as a teenager, and began photographing farmers and high school activities. Miller took some time off from photography and became a writer for Life magazine, then returned to Vermont to start a ski magazine. Years of photographing rural life produced the books Vermont People, Vermont Farm Women, Vermont Gathering Places, and People of the Great Plains.  Vermont Farm Women inspired the exhibit currently on display in Fairfield.

Peter donates a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of Vermont Farm Women to the Vermont Farm Women’s Fund. VFWF is designed to help Vermont women farmers improve their businesses and/or become more involved in agricultural policy development. A key goal is to provide financial assistance that is not readily available elsewhere.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Kristen at the Bent Northrop Memorial Library with questions: 802.827.3945 or bentnorthrop@gmail.com. For more information about VFWF, email vfwf@uvm.edu.

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One Response to Farm Women Photos on Display in Fairfield through April 15

  1. I have two comments to make and the first is that it is great that Vermont’s agrarian heritage and to the Vermont farm women who are working to make our future farm and food system sustainable. Technology I’m sure will play a huge part in this

    Second, I’m a big fan of black and white photographs and I’m glad to see that they were used in the exhibit.

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