The idiom really made sense to me after I saw this herd grazing in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

Inside an undisclosed dairy research center, somewhere in America:

"It’s green-apple-flavored string cheese! Would you like to try it?"

"…"

"What do you think?"

"It kinda tastes like green-apple candy."

"Yeah, the flavoring is supposed to get kids to eat their dairy!"

"Oh."

"Would you like to try the bubble gum flavor?"

"No… thank you though… when did you say this was going to be in stores?"

"We don’t know at this point. Right now it’s just in the experimental stage, and we will have to see if any businesses are interested in it. The idea has been around for a while, but no one has moved on it yet."

It’s in these moments that I consider the complete unpredictability of the future. 25 years ago, who would be able to see a food product as delicious as cheese would be deemed “in need of sweetening” when measured against the peculiar taste preferences of children raised on breakfast cereals, juice and spaghetti-O’s?

But, where there isn’t a need, there is a profitable means of ensuring that demand for dairy products remains high, while simultaneously reinforcing childhood eating habits dependent on simple, artificial sweeteners instead of diverse sources of nutrition. Behold the power of the free market!

New York, NY. 2014 (at The Museum Of Modern Art (Moma) - New York)

Henry Kempfer, President of the Florida Cattleman’s Association, moving cattle on his farm in St. Cloud, Florida.

I noticed these two young men relaxing after work on a farm in O’Brien, Florida. They were happy to pose for a photo, but when I asked the man on the left to put his food down for the next shot, it was clear our language gap was going to get in the way of capturing the candid photo I was looking for. I opted just to photograph them as they were. Part of me wishes I could say something to these two guys that would put them at ease, and show less of a separation on my part, but that separation also might be due to the fact that I took this shot at 200mm.

The separation between culture and language has been on my mind recently, as I apply for jobs in the fields of photography and journalism. In four cases I know of, I applied for jobs where the employer indicated they would prefer or require candidates who spoke Spanish. 

It’s admittedly a very difficult thing for me to get used to, especially after having worked for majority white staffs in southern newsrooms and photo departments. But in the Bay Area, and generally in places that are better to live in than the American South (because of their cultural inclusiveness), the media attempts to communicate with primary Spanish-speakers, both in their choice of coverage and publishing. Knowing a language not only helps you talk to people, but also become better versed in their culture and complex social issues. A news organization will be better equipped to cover the issues of immigration reform, and the changing nature of agricultural work if they have spanish speakers on staff.

I understand and appreciate that. My ability to communicate with people, the essential role of the photojournalist, is limited by my choice in languages. Especially if I’d like the gentleman on the left to put down his sandwich.

Workers weed rows of caladiums in Lake Placid, Florida.

I admire Stacy Eberle, owner of Orchestrated Dreams Dairy in Monroe, Wisconsin, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons being that this was the first dairy farm I’ve been to where the cows weren’t scared by the sight of me. They walked away, but they weren’t panicked, and I was able to get a few normalish looking shots of their daily lives.

I’m not going to pretend I know exactly why they were so well behaved, by just in watching Stacy interact with her herd, I knew that she tried her best to take care of them directly. The staff on the farm cleaned up after the cows regularly, and she was there to supervise and ensure that they were kept cool and fed.

Read more about the Eberle family story on TheCountryToday.com.

Shouts out to all the dads out there on Father’s Day. Thanks for passing along your genetic information, feeding us, expanding our vocabulary of both interesting words and expletives, demonstrating what kind of tube socks go best with sandals, paying our cell phone bills when we were clearly up to no good, wearing matching camouflage to help us to take the lives of animals, teaching us how to cook said dead animals, teaching us how to play games with the inflated skins of dead animals, and overall just being there to help us forge our own identity in the pit of human experience. Thank you.

Also, shouts out to my pops for being a pretty great pops.

Photographs, clockwise from top: 

Justin Siler (middle) watches as James Watkins (right) feeds his nephew, while Curlie Sanders (left) pats his son on the back during their graduation from the Milestones program, a youth intervention service in Rochester, NY. 

Mitchell Samaha, a Biologist and Educator with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, goes hunting with his son, Cameron, 11 at a duck pond on Saturday, November 19 in Houma.

Louis K. Muench, and his father, Louis E. Muench, of Louie’s Finer Meats in Cumberland, Wisconsin.

Sgt. Jeffrey Clevenger helps his ten-year-old son, David, into the backpack he used while on duty as a military police officer. Sgt. Clevenger of the 10th Mountain Division returned home from Iraq to the McGrath Gym of Ft. Drum, NY on Feb. 3, 2010.

Cattle walk across the sunlit hills of Oconto, Wisconsin. 

Planting potatoes in the rain in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.