When photographer Paul Mobley set out to capture the soul of our country’s farm communities, he encountered an enduring rural culture that remains rooted in the principles of tradition, family, integrity, and hard work. Crisscrossing the country, from Alaska to Florida, Mobley and his camera were welcomed time and time again into the homes of hundreds of farm families. Visit after visit, Mobley came to know the independent farmer’s spirit from both behind the lens and across the dinner table. He sought the elusive spirit of agriculture, looking for subjects that mirrored the project’s sense of risk and independence. The resulting images show farmers with a strong sense of where they belong in the universe, a close connection to the land and their day- to-day work as it affects the rest of the world.

Out of a collection of more than 300 of these portraits, ExhibitsUSA has distilled a selection of forty-five iconic portraits showing the geographic and cultural diversity of the American Farmer. This vivid portfolio is accompanied by anecdotes and memories in the farmers’ own words that are both a testament to their enduring hospitality and a moving glimpse into the hardships and joys of a quickly disappearing way of life—one that once defined our national identity and now struggles to remain vital. From Jim Taber, a young single father raising cattle in Montana, to Shirley Schollenberg, the daughter of Alaskan homesteaders, Mobley’s heroic photographs reveal the true face of American farming and remind us what it means to live with simplicity, contentment, and decency in a world that so often forgets.

American Farmer was awarded the 2009 Western Heritage Award for Photography Book of the Year from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.


September 1 – October 20, 2017
University of Tennessee at Martin, Paul Meek Library
Martin, TN

November 10, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Fort Larned Historical Society
Larned, KS

June 16 – August 11, 2018
McKinney Arts Commission
McKinney, TX

September 1 – October 20, 2018
Chelsea District Library
Chelsea, MI

November 10, 2018 – January 7, 2019
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Duncan, OK

January 28 – March 16, 2019
Collier County Museums
Naples, FL

April 6 – May 25, 2019
John E. Conner Museum
Kingsville, TX

June 16 – August 11, 2019
County of San Luis Obispo Public Library
San Luis Obispo, CA

September 1 – October 20, 2019
Bell County Museum
Belton, TX

November 10, 2019 – January 7, 2020
Kansas City, MO

January 28 – March 16, 2020
Temecula Valley Museum
Temecula, CA

April 6 – May 25, 2020
Prairie Village Museum
Rugby, ND

June 16 – August 11, 2020
Washakie Museum & Cultural Center
Worland, WY

September 1 – October 20, 2020
Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
Enid, OK

November 10, 2020 – January 7, 2021
Charles H MacNider Art Museum
Mason City, IA

January 28 – May 25, 2021
Utah State University
Logan, UT

June 16 – August 11, 2021
Bosque Museum

September 1 – October 20, 2021
Elkhorn Valley Museum
Norfolk, NE

November 10, 2021 – January 7, 2022
Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities
Texarkana, TX

January 28 – March 16, 2022

April 6 – May 25, 2022
Chandler Museum
Chandler, AZ

June 16 – August 11, 2022
Living History Farms