Voices of Farming

While Hope & Hard Work offers a look at four very different West Virginian farming families, using photographs and video, the families were also given the opportunity to talk about farming in their own words. Using a set of five questions as prompts, individuals were asked to consider how farming has impacted their lives.

The questions were chosen to allow individuals to reflect on their farms, their lives as farmers, their families, and how they picture their farms and families in the future. Out of many questions considered, these were chosen as questions that would be applicable to all of the farms and families photographed and as questions that would allow subjects to offer meaningful observations about their lives as farmers. The questions were then ordered so that their sequence would allow for a natural progression of thought. Standardized questions allow for comparison between stories and families, offering further insight into what it means to farm in the mountain state.

The questions are as follows:

  1. What does the word farm or farming mean to you?
  2. How has your choice to farm shaped or impacted your family life?
  3. Has your feeling about farming changed over the years you’ve been doing it? If so, how?
  4. What is the most challenging thing about farming?
  5. Where do you see yourself and your farm in 10 years?

Mary Oldham, Mountain Harvest Farm. View story.




Glenn Hardesty, Working H Farms and Market. View Story.




Terrie Hardesty, Working H Farms and Market. View Story.




Zula Stenger, Stenger Farm. View story.



Bob Stenger, Stenger Farm. View Story.




John Stenger, Stenger Farm. View Story.



Mary Beth Stenger, Stenger Farm. View Story.




Grayson Samples. View story.