The Farm Nest series of three-dimensional weavings are made from coiled, upcycled remnants of utilitarian fiber materials that have been previously worn by a farmer. Farm Nests 01-08 are gathered from my father, a 4th generational Nebraska farmer who produces corn, soybeans and Black Angus cattle. It is estimated that my father feeds 300+ mouths a day based on total production.
In the 1930s, one American farmer produced enough agricultural product to feed a total of four people; a family farm was solely meant to feed a family [source: Kirschenmann]. Fast forward through 80 years of agricultural and bioscience innovation, in the 2010s, one farmer produces enough food to feed 155 people, on average [sources: USDA, Sullivan]. According to the U.S. Census, a farmer must produce and sell at least $1,000 worth of agricultural products annually to be considered a farm. There is a discrepancy with the exact amount of people a farmer feeds based on the calculation by economists at the American Farm Bureau Federation because it's not actually based on the production of an individual farmer; rather, it's a ratio that's based on the production of each farm, but not all agricultural products are actually intended to feed people, and that isn't figured into the Farm Bureau's statistic. Corn and Soybeans are the two largest agricultural productions; 40% of corn production goes to the creation of ethanol and one acre of soybeans is needed to make 82,368 crayons. Crayola, for example, makes about 3 billion crayons every year [sources: Wisconsin Soybean Association, Crayola].
On average, Americans throw away about 40% of what our U.S. farms grow, but sometimes that's because it's spoiled; not always — 14% of food waste in the U.S. is actually edible food when we discard it [source: Gunders].
Crayola. "FAQ: How many crayola products do you make per year?" (Oct. 17, 2014 http://www.crayola.com/faq/your-business/how-many-crayola-products-do-you-make-per-year/
Gunders, Dana. "Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill." National Resources Defense Council. August 2012. (Oct. 17, 2014) http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf
Kirschenmann, Frederick. "How many farmers will we need?" Iowa State University. Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture - Ag Decision Maker. January 2001. (Oct. 17, 2014) https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/articles/others/KirJan01.htm
Sullivan, Alison. "Fact Check: Reynolds says one Iowa farmer feeds 155 people worldwide." The Gazette. May 24, 2014. (Oct. 17, 2014) http://thegazette.com/subject/news/government/fact-check/fact-check-reynolds-says-one-iowa-farmer-feeds-155-people-worldwide-20140524
Trimarchi, Maria. "How many people does one farmer feed in a year?" October 26, 2014. HowStuffWorks.com. <https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/how-many-farmer-feed.htm> 21 July 2023
Wisconsin Soybean Association. "U.S. and Wisconsin Soybean Facts." (Oct. 17, 2014) http://www.wisoybean.org/news/soybean_facts.php