Califonia Bountiful

American Farmer: Book pays tribute to heartland's heroes

Nov./Dec. 2008 California Country magazine

Paul Mobley captures the essence of agriculture through photos and personal stories and gathers them into a book.

Photographer Paul Mobley ventured deep into America’s heartland. His quest was to capture the essence of agriculture through photos and personal stories and gather them into a book.

He spent four years on the road, crisscrossing America, fitting the project into his demanding commercial photography schedule. The result is American Farmer, a 264-page coffee-table book that presents the integrity and daily experiences of those who work the land. The text is by noted author Katrina Fried.

“What Paul has done is present us—America’s farmers and ranchers—as we are, working out of the limelight with purpose and dignity,” said Doug Mosebar, Santa Barbara County farmer and president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Portraits of Mosebar and several other California Farm Bureau leaders are featured among the book’s photos of nearly 100 farm families in about 35 states.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and state Farm Bureaus helped with the project by directing Mobley to the people, settings and events that might prove suitable subjects for the book.

“Paul approached us four years ago about doing a book,” explained Don Lipton, American Farm Bureau’s public relations director. “He was very serious about the project and he impressed the people he worked with. When people see this book, they’ll be blown away.”

Kate Campbell is a reporter for the California Farm Bureau Federation. She can be reached at 800-698-FARM or

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