Seldom Scene - Farmworker

Migrant Farmworker, Tarboro, North Carolina, 1999

This time of year hurricanes and tropical storms are not far from my mind. I’ve photographed the aftermath of many storms and the people affected by them over the years and I’m always struck by the numbers of unsung heroes who play a role in the clean-up and rebuilding.

This image was made near Tarboro, North Carolina, in 1999 after Hurricane Floyd and the ensuing flood that covered most of the eastern third of the state. This young man was working on a poultry farm that had been washed over. The barn was knee-deep in thousands of dead chickens, water, and fecal matter. His job was to help remove the feed and water lines before front-end loaders were brought in to remove the toxic soup. I think it is important for us to see the people doing this incredibly awful, but vital work in our communities and take that into consideration as we debate our nation's immigration policies.