The Henry Project is a multi-faceted, long-term photographic story of a boy growing up in rural Central New York. The project begins with Henry at five years old and is following him as he cares for and shows heifers, does his chores, and grows up on a small family farm. Henry’s parents are both agriculture professionals who graduated from Cornell University and went on to earn advanced degrees. When they relocated to central NY, they bought property with the goal of starting their own small farm to give their children the opportunity to see their parents working with the cows and horses and learn the responsibility of caring for their own animals. Both agreed that farm life can teach the rewards of hard work, ownership and a multitude of important life lessons beginning at a young age. And Henry likes farm life. He works hard in school and in the barn. He is a Champion Showman who proudly shows his cattle across NY, including the NY State Fair. He does all the usual activities a boy his age would do, things like Karate, soccer, swimming lessons etc. But if asked what he’d prefer to do… it’s go to a cattle show!
A story of Henry’s remarkable work ethic and how he feels about farm life comes from a close friend of the family. She had come at Christmas with a box of presents for Henry and his younger twin brothers. He asked, “what’s in the box” and was told “it’s presents, let’s go open them” to which Henry replied as he pulled on his overalls and gloves “Nope, I am going to the barn to do my chores!”
Sharing Henry's story is important because he may be the future of farming in America. Or not. How ever his story plays out, Henry is a thoughtful, sensitive, and motivated boy with the world at his feet.
I, for one, can’t wait to see where his journey takes him.