Over the course of their working lives, most farmers get about 40 growing seasons or 40 chances to improve upon every harvest. Actually, that's true for most everyone -- each of us gets about 40 chances to accomplish our goals in life.
The World Food Prize Foundation, headquartered in Des Moines, is hosting a photo exhibit titled "40 Chances, Finding Hope In A Hungry World". Open to the public with free admission, the exhibit features a collection of 120 photos by Howard G. Buffett.
Buffett is the son of Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett, and he farms 1,200 acres in central Illinois. He also runs a charitable foundation which has given away $500 million to projects and programs to help alleviate hunger. That work has taken him to about 130 countries around the world over the years. An accomplished photographer, Howard Buffett has photographed many of the people he's met along the way.
The 40 Chances photos are on long-term display at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in downtown Des Moines, exactly how long has yet to be determined but they will be there for a while.
"When people come to Des Moines they should set aside an hour to walk through and view these photos," says WFP Foundation president Kenneth Quinn. "The display opened to the public in November and explains the World Food Prize mission in a way that words cannot."
Some of the pictures are happy, joyous and uplifting and some are haunting; but they are real. They show what life is like around the world. The photos reflect issues addressed at the World Food Prize annual international symposium and at other events and in programs WFP sponsors throughout the year. "When people come and tour our building, we talk about global agriculture and hunger issues," says Quinn. "In these photos you can see the faces of the people and the different communities where they live. This exhibit is a natural fit for the purpose of our Hall of Laureates."
Farming, hunger and hope -- we have the ability to grow more food, but need leaders and the will to make it happen
The photos are displayed under six main categories: agriculture, landscape, water, social conflict, portraits and "Howard G. Buffett on the Ground." The pictures show the individual human suffering in the world today, says Quinn, and that's what really can communicate when you see a child, a person, a mom. You see people who are suffering from lack of food, lack of water, from war and conflict that is going on around them. You see the pain in one person's face and you realize it is affecting millions or more, and you see what needs to be done. That's the power of photography.