American farmer

This image by Paul Mobley shows farmer Davis Harris in Crane, Mont. The photo is part of the upcoming “American Farmer” traveling exhibit, which will be on display at the Bell County Museum Aug. 31 through Oct. 19.

The Bell County Museum will host the traveling exhibit “American Farmer” from Aug. 31 through Oct. 19.

The exhibit will feature photographs of farmers from across America, agricultural tools and implements from the Bell County Museum collection, and “Path to the Plate” panel exhibits provided by Bell County Agrilife Extension.

“Farm agriculture has been at the heart of Bell County civilization since the very beginning,” executive director Colman Hampton said in a news release. “From pre-Clovis people to Native groups to early frontier settlers, farming is the common thread that sews together Bell County history. We are excited to exhibit this aspect of our shared heritage and appreciate the opportunity to work with the wonderful people at our area Agrilife Extension.”

The exhibit combines objects and images from Bell County history with photographs of American farmers by Paul Mobley.

When photographer Paul Mobley set out to capture the soul of the country’s farm communities, he encountered an enduring rural culture that remains rooted in the principles of tradition, family, integrity and hard work. Crisscrossing the country, from Alaska to Florida, Mobley and his camera were welcomed time and time again into the homes of hundreds of farm families. Visit after visit, Mobley came to know the independent farmer’s spirit from both behind the lens and across the dinner table.

He sought the elusive spirit of agriculture, looking for subjects that mirrored the project’s sense of risk and independence. The resulting images show farmers with a strong sense of where they belong in the universe, a close connection to the land and their day-to-day work as it affects the rest of the world.

The Bell County Museum is located at 201 N. Main St. in Belton. The museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is always free.