I have been photographing the cattle industry and the cowboy way of life for over 15 years now. This is one of my favorite yet tragic stories of an organic, free range, grass finished, cattle, goat and lamb rancher that calls himself a farmer because he says "I grow grass". The Lyssy family started off as providers of healthy meat for my family, first meeting them at the New Bruanfels farmers market in Central Texas, however we became quick friends and their story became one of heartbreak. You see the oil industry and its fracking ways are pushing them off of their 600 acres as a direct result of pollution sickening their family and ranch. Up to now they have held out, not leasing their mineral rights, turning down riches rather choosing and preferring a healthy lifestyle and non-toxic nutrient dense meats for their loyal customers, however they have been surrounded by wells causing trimmers in the ground and poisonous air in their house and on their land. They are currently moving to Virginia to run an organic ranch and farm with much greener pastures and hopefully less pollution. You can't necessarily run away but you can make better choices for your families health. Texas is losing one of it's best farmer/ranchers in a process. Maybe we should consider this hidden but very important "cost" when we fill our cars up?
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