Sending Milk: Skye Chalmers
Although farming has been one of the building blocks of this country, we tend not to think about where our food comes from these days. We buy pre-packaged everything right off the shelves of the grocery store, not knowing, or really even caring, how it got there. The farming industry (especially privately-owned farms) has been declining steadily over the last decades, but there are still a few that have stuck it out. They choose the hard life of working 365 days a year, never getting a day off, let alone a vacation. They make their living working off of the land, knowing it’s a tough life, but they wouldn’t choose any other. Skye Chalmers was recently hired by Cabot Creamery Cooperative to take stock images of farmers around New England. Chalmers decided to take the assignment a step further and put a more personal touch to the project. “I wanted to take it a step forward and show the farm in its different aspects,” he says. “The mechanization, the personalities of farmers, their relationships to their cows, the land, to growing [crops].” What he ended up with is a beautiful book he called Sending Milk. Using Tri-X film and a variety of large-format cameras, Chalmers was able to capture not only the day-to-day lives of the farmers of New England, but also the pride and joy they feel for what they do. The dedication reads:
NPR The Picture Show]
Sending Milk is dedicated to the oldest tractor on the farm that once plowed the fields and still runs strong pumping slurry; to the cows with all their warmth and curiosity; to all the worn stanchions, concrete bunkers, shovel handles, boots and hands; to the seasons of promise, bounty and reflection; to the past stewards of the land; to the farmers that were not able to persevere through hard times but haven’t dismantled their parlor in hopes of a future herd; to all dairy farmers of the northeast with their practical views, their ingenuity and tireless energy that binds our communities.