The Farmers’ Hands


When I began documenting the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund projects of innovative farmers for RAFI-USA this fall, I knew I wanted to take portraits of the farmers’ hands. Hands- just as faces, I think- tell stories. There is great importance for me in paying attention to the hands- hands of the earth, literally, in this case- the hands of those who work with the earth and who are stewards of the ground. When I was taking the photographs, many of the farmers said, “My hands are so dirty.” And I said, “That’s the point!” My hope, with the portraits of hands, is to honor the work those hands do.

See our farmers’ hands here!

The hands of farmer Shannon Roberts and his sons' and nephew's


About Scott Marlow

Scott currently serves as Executive Director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA. Scott’s specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management for value-added producers. He previously directed the organization’s Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers who are increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets.