Five Farms: Stories of American Farm Families Five Farms home page


Ben Adler

Ben Adler (field producer/California) first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool --- though not necessarily by choice. He made his radio debut (and blatant early mistakes) at Northwestern University's student radio station, WNUR. There, he spent much of his time broadcasting sports; an internship at Chicago Public Radio gradually helped bring him over from the "dark side." Adler's dream remains broadcasting Major League Baseball games, but he regretfully acknowledges he's probably better at what he does now. After three years covering the Monterey Bay Area for NPR™ member station KAZU, he joined Capital Public Radio in Sacramento in 2007. He made recordings with the Main family in Capay, California.

Rob Dillard

Rob Dillard (field producer/Iowa) joined what is now Iowa Public Radio in January 2001. He hosted the local portions of Morning Edition™ until December 2006, and he has served as a general assignment reporter based in Des Moines since then. In a varied career, he has produced talk shows for a commercial radio station, edited a weekly business newspaper, handled media relations for a medical school and a small, private liberal arts college, operated a movie theater that specialized in foreign and independent films, and toured the U.S. and Canada with a theater troupe. He made recordings with the Griffieon family in Ankeny, Iowa.

Camille Lacapa

Camille Lacapa (field producer/Hopi Reservation, Arizona) is the former manager of WOJB-FM, a community radio station licensed to the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe in northwestern Wisconsin. She has produced national radio programs for American Indian Radio on Satellite, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Koahnic Broadcast Corporation. Lacapa has produced and hosted a number of talk shows, including Native America Calling, and assisted in the broadcast of the National Museum of the American Indian Inaugural Powwow on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Her radio experience includes serving on the National Federation of Community Broadcasters board from 1992 to 1997. She made recordings with the Pecusa family in Bacavi, Arizona.

Susannah Lee

Susannah Lee (field producer/Massachusetts) is a writer and a producer for both film and radio. Her radio stories have aired on All Things Considered™, Living on Earth, WFCR's Morning Edition, Monitor Radio, and She Got Game™. She has worked for Monitor Radio's Weekend Edition™, and Special Series Reports. Lee was a Fulbright Hayes Fellow to Portugal. She made recordings with the Hager family in Colrain, Massachusetts.

John Biewen

John Biewen (series producer and field producer/North Carolina) has reported on social, cultural, and economic issues from across the United States and in Europe, Japan, and India. He was a correspondent and producer with American RadioWorks, the national documentary unit of American Public Media, from the unit's founding in 1998 until 2006. In 1997-98 he covered the Rocky Mountain West as a staff reporter for NPR News™. Biewen began his career in the 1980s, covering agriculture and rural issues for Minnesota Public Radio. In 1990, he co-produced Season of Discontent, a Unity Award-winning documentary on the lives of Hispanic farmworkers who migrated between south Texas and northwestern Minnesota, which was broadcast on Marketplace™. As an NPR reporter in the West, Biewen reported on ranching and land use issues from Montana to New Mexico. In 2001 he co-produced the American RadioWorks special The Global Politics of Food. Biewen has harvested onions with farmworkers near Crystal City, Texas, and processed corn for four summers at a Green Giant plant in southern Minnesota. He is currently a producer, teacher, and director of the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University.

Wesley Horner

Wesley Horner (executive producer) has served as executive producer for
Black Radio with Lou Rawls; Remembering Slavery; Jazz Singers with Al Jarreau; Mississippi: River of Song with Ani Di Franco; Folk Masters from the Barns of Wolf Trap; Memphis: Rock 'n' Soul with Cybill Shepherd; Jazz Smithsonian with Lena Horne; and NPR's™ daily classical music program Performance Today™. He served as producer for pilot programs for the weekly series From the Top and as consultant for development of the From the Top spin-off series for PBS, and executive producer for the HDTV PBS television special Piano Grand starring Billy Joel. In 2006 Horner was producer for NPR's™ comprehensive coverage of Mozart's 250th birthday from Salzburg, Austria, including weeklong live origination of Performance Todayand segments of Morning Editionand Talk of the Nation. He has produced live music performance broadcast series from Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston; the Salzburg Festival in Salzburg, Austria; the Bayreuth Festival; and the Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Day Concert.

Additional recording and production assistance:

Les Lovoy, WBHM, Birmingham
Aaron McGuire
Katherine Buse
Stephanie Coleman


Alix Lowrey Blair

Alix Lowrey Blair is an independent/freelance photographer. After graduating from Brown University, she received an Arnold Fellowship to work in Cuba, where she documented organic agriculture and urban gardens on the island. She has worked and traveled in Bhutan, India, Spain, French Polynesia, and Central America. In addition to her documentary work, Blair has extensive experience working on farms, including completion of the certificate program at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems through the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has worked with the Center for Documentary Studies over the past two years as a photographer, teacher, audio assistant, and instructor.

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis has lived and worked on the Hopi Reservation for the last five years. As a staff member and consultant for the Hopi Foundation, he has been involved in several community development projects, including the founding of the Natwani Coalition, an organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of traditional Hopi farming practices. Recent projects include ongoing research and photography documenting changes to Hopi ancestral lands within a cultural and historical context. Lewis received an M.F.A. in English from Boston University and a B.A. in history from Yale University (1987).

Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin is director of the Center for Documentary Studies and associate professor of the practice of art and documentary studies at Duke University. A photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist, Rankin has been documenting and interpreting American culture for more than twenty years. Formerly associate professor of art and Southern studies at the University of Mississippi and chair of the Art Department at Delta State University, he was educated at Tufts University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgia State University. A native of Kentucky, he has curated a number of exhibitions and published numerous articles and reviews on photography and Southern culture. His photographs have been published in numerous magazines, journals, and books, and he has exhibited throughout the country. His books include
Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (1993), which received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography; 'Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre': Photographs of a River Life (1995); Faulkner's World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain (1997); and Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible (2000).

Elena Rue

Elena Rue is a graduate of Kenyon College, where she studied anthropology and photography. Since graduating she has completed internships at the Maine Photographic Workshops and
DoubleTake Magazine and has participated in several projects at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where she now works. As a 2006 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow, she spent nine months in Ethiopia working with Hope for Children, a local organization started by an Ethiopian woman in response to the rapidly growing number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In recent years Rue's documentary work has focused on adoption and the changing face of the American family. Included in this body of work are international, interracial, single, and gay and lesbian adoptive families in Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Steve Schapiro

Steve Schapiro's career in photography began in 1960 with a documentary project on Arkansas migrant farmworkers, published in the
New York Times Magazine. Schapiro worked extensively for Life, Look, Time, and Newsweek. His book, American Edge, documents the spirit of the 1960s. Schapiro's work has been collected in numerous gallery exhibitions in the United States and Europe, and in the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution. Since 2000 he has been Contributing Photographer for American RadioWorks, the national documentary unit of American Public Media.


Special thanks to renowned author Bill MacLeish, whose writings and good counsel helped inspire the
Five Farms project. MacLeish has written four books: Oil and Water: The Struggle for Georges Bank (1984); The Gulf Stream: Encounters with the Blue God (1989); The Day Before America: Changing the Nature of a Continent (1994); and a memoir, Uphill With Archie: A Son's Journey (2001). MacLeish is the author of numerous articles on environmental and social issues published by Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine.


Original music by Wesley Horner, who studied composition with Donald Martino and Malcolm Peyton, New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Performed by NEC undergraduates Kalindi Bellach (viola) and Yi Wei (percussion). Recorded by Antonio Oliart-Ros at the studios of WGBH Boston.


Christopher Sims, who currently designs the Center for Documentary Studies website, has coordinated the exhibitions and awards programs at CDS, as well as worked as a photo archivist at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a master's degree in visual communication from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a M.F.A. in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has received a national fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography, was selected for
PDN's Photography Annual "Best Photography of the Year" in 2007 and 2008, and was featured in the book American Photography 20, a collection edited by Kathy Ryan of the New York Times Magazine. He is represented by Ann Stewart Fine Art in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Civilian Art Projects in Washington, D.C.


Five Farms: Stories of American Farm Families, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, 1317 W. Pettgrew Street, Durham, NC 27705,

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University WNYC | | 93.9 fm | am 820 Center for Creative Photography About Five Farms Listen: Audio Look: Photographs Production Team Learn More Web Extras News Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University About Five Farms The Families Listen: Audio Look: Photographs Production Team Learn More Web Extras News Listen to the April 28, 2008 segment (4:05 minutes) Listen to the May 27, 2008 segment (4:09 minutes) Listen to the June 23, 2008 segment (4:37 minutes) Listen to the July 31, 2008 (5:12 minutes) Listen to the September 19, 2008 segment (2:49 minutes) Listen to the October 13, 2008 segment (4:58 minutes) Listen to the January 2, 2009 segment (4:11 minutes) Listen to the March 3, 2009 segment (5:04 minutes)