Leasing the Farm
My family farm in Ohio has leased land usage rights to a hydraulic fracking company. In addition to being a place of great personal significance, the farm is also the place where my Grandma lives and has lived for most of her life –with a significant portion of my family living on the land surrounding it. My father grew up on this land and has a deep connection with it.
Fracking on small family farms is becoming increasingly common. There are many factors as to why my family, and many like it make such a drastic decision. The idea that this industry while problematic to the environment, creates jobs in America and boosts the economy. The amount of money paid to just to sign a lease is enough to get most people grabbing a pen. One of the worst problems I have seen is ignoring the harm this type of oil extracting is causing the land.
In this project I want to bring in a personal touch, which most people ignore in debates such as this. I also want to create a dialogue between me and my family in grasping an understanding of why we have such different ideas about this topic.
M Katie White is a photographer and mixed-media artist currently based in Iowa City. She recently received her MFA from The University of Iowa and has a BFA from The University of Akron in Ohio. Her work focuses on the intersection of environmental activism and personal issues, pulling inspiration from locations with a connection to her life. This work is grounded in scientific research, pulled from sources like Environmental Protection Agency and assorted conservation organizations. In addition to making these issues more accessible, her work communicates an important message: We must all work together to ensure a more sustainable future for all of us. You can see more of her work here.