Photographer Scott Strazzante spent nearly a decade on his story "Common Ground." It begins in 2002 as Jean and Harlow Cagwin of Lockport, Ill., say goodbye to their 118-acre cattle farm. A few years later, the Grabenhofer family moves into what has become a housing development, their house just yards from where the Cagwins once lived. Watch it here.
Strazzante met the Cagwins in 1994 while doing a story on family farming for a suburban newspaper. He developed a relationship with the Cagwins and continued to visit them through the years. What began as a documentary on a family farm evolved into a bigger-picture story on suburban sprawl.
It's a simple but powerful vignette about the unforgiving forces of change. But it's also about those things that are enduring, that connect one generation to another, that render a farming couple and a suburban family not so different after all. In Strazzante's words, it's a story about land, but it's also about those who live on it. "People are people," he says. "It doesn't matter if you're a cattle farmer or a 5-year-old triplet. ... We all want the same things out of life."
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