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A Glimpse at the Quiet Life of a Montana Rancher

Mattyhuber_C1-01 John Hoiland

Mattyhuber_C1-05 Cattle Drive, Wilsal, Montana

Mattyhuber_C1-03 Hay Bales

For the last three years Cynthia Matty-Huber has photographed ranchers across the state of Montana. Fascinated by the rugged lifestyle that ranching demands, Matty-Huber has spent the past year documenting one rancher in particular. John Hoiland’s family came to Montana in 1906. He has spent his entire life on the farm. When his parents died, he added their chores to his, working the farm alone.

A critical mass top 50 finalist, Matty-Huber’s photographs follow Hoiland’s life on the 940 acres that he has called home for generations. With compassion and tenderness she documents the hardships that come with being responsible for both land and animal. Against the expansive Western landscape we see the decline of Hoiland’s home, his time constraints now making it too difficult to maintain. Though in a state of decay, Hoiland holds fiercely to his land and the objects from his past. Through quiet, intimate photographs Matty-Huber conveys her admiration for his strength and perseverance.

Mattyhuber_C1-08 Wilsal, Montana

Mattyhuber_C1-04 John and Patricia

Mattyhuber_C1-06 John’s Sink

Mattyhuber_C1-02 John in His Living Room

Mattyhuber_C1-07 John Plays his Dad’s Accordion

Mattyhuber_C1-09 John’s Fairland

Mattyhuber_C1-10 John Out in his 1939 Chevy Truck

All images © Cynthia Matty-Huber

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